Cooking With Cannabis
Today's Challenge: Cooking With Cannabis
We're all spending more time at home these days, and getting more ambitious in the kitchen. It's time to embrace your inner Gordon Ramsay with a new challenge: combining your knack for cooking with your love of cannabis. Dating all the way back to 10th century India - that's even longer than MasterChef has been on the air - cooking with cannabis is easier than ever.
Simply substituting THC-infused butter, oil, or distillate into your recipes lets you add a little something extra into any meal you're whipping up. Whether this is your first time cooking with cannabis, or you need a refresher, here are some helpful tips! Just remember the golden rule of edibles: Start low, go slow. You can always add more once you get the hang of it.
Mastering Cannabis Infusions
When it comes to cannabis infusions, the classic option is to make it yourself. It's also the most fun. Here's your step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Coarsely grind your favorite strain.
Step 2: Set your oven for 245℉.
Step 3: Bake your herb on a tray for about 30-40 minutes to activate the THC.
Step 4: Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of butter or oil to a slow simmer in a saucepan.
Step 5: Add in your activated flower and simmer on low heat (160℉ - 200℉) for 2 hours. Low and slow is key when cooking with cannabis. High heat damages the THC.
Step 6: Strain the oil through a fine mesh or cheese cloth to remove the plant matter.
Step 7: Get to cooking or baking!
As a rule of thumb, your infusion will end up with just over half the amount of THC that you started with. For example, if you ground up 10 grams of a strain with 20% THC (i.e. 2,000 mg of THC), your infusion will contain just over 1,000 mg of THC. Since a standard edible dosage is 10 mg per serving, that leaves you with just over 100 servings. Divide out what you need and freeze the rest for later!
Pro-Tip: Err on the side of less infusion over more for your first batch.
If making your own THC-infusion seems daunting, there are plenty of pre-made cannabutter or oil brands that already contain active, full-spectrum THC. As a bonus, pre-made infusions list their dosages on the label, removing the guesswork when you're portioning out servings.
Another option is distillate, which is purified, activated, liquid THC sold in a 1,000mg syringe. Distillate has no odor or taste, which makes it a great choice if you don't want the hashiness of cannabutter or oil overpowering your pastries (or the unmistakable smell of baking cannabis filling your home).
Pro-Tip: Mixing regular oil or butter with your infusion at a 1:1 ratio, or even 3:1, can help bring out the other flavors of your food. It's also a great way to control the potency.
Select a Recipe
Since cannabis infusions can be added to nearly every recipe, your culinary imagination's the limit! Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started.
If you've got your infusion and your recipe picked out, then let's get cooking!
Mix it Up
Whether you're baking something like 'special' brownies, or even a 'pot' pie, get ready to do some laps around the mixing bowl. You want your infusion spread evenly throughout the batter. Otherwise you might end up biting into that one cookie that does nothing, or that one slice of banana bread that does WAY too much.
Heat with Care
Once the batter is evenly mixed, set the oven temperature (stay below 350℉ to protect those delicate cannabinoids) and follow the recipe as usual.
If you're on the stovetop, it's best to drizzle your infusion over your kitchen creation at or near the end rather than sauteing in the oil. Infusions also mix well into flavorful sauces like pesto, curry, or aioli, and light up starchy sides like creamy mashed potatoes or mac 'n cheese.
Pro-Tip: Herbs like rosemary and thyme pair well with the 'weedy' taste of cannabis oil, and strong spices like pepper or chili help to mask it.
Dig in! You've earned it. Whether it's a weed cookie fresh out of the oven, a pulled pork slider with some infused BBQ sauce, or just a slice of fresh baked sourdough with cannabutter melting on top, go ahead and savor the 'magic' of home-cooking.