Say what you want about millennials (we’re lazy, technology-obsessed, and lacking social skills), but you can’t deny that this generation is passionate about health and a greener lifestyle. That counts for the environment — climate change is real — and ourselves. Stats show that cigarette smoking(dropping from 20.9% in every 100 adults to 15.5% in the last 10 years) thanks to the increase in cannabis use. And those who are still concerned about the health of their lungs can consume cannabis a different way — through cooking! These cannabis recipes will steer you away from the pipe and into the kitchen.
The Science Behind Cooking with Cannabis
We wish it were as simple as adding flower into a mixing bowl and then throwing it in the oven. You could try that method but it probably wouldn’t taste very good — or you would lose the medicinal or recreational effects of this healing plant. There is some science involved, unfortunately. The secret to successful cannabis-infused foods lies within the decarboxylation process.
In simple language, the predominant compounds found in cannabis (THCA and CBDA) need heat. If you don’t heat up these compounds (with a match, or in a vape, or some other method), they remain locked in their acidic forms and are therefore not bioavailable to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. Which means, you won’t get high. Decarboxylating the plant material converts THCA into THC and CBDA into CBD. That’s the only way you’ll achieve the full healing effects from your infused foods.
The Science Experiment Begins
Let’s break this down into simple steps. The same way you follow a recipe in a cookbook, follow this guide to successfully decarboxylate cannabis. Fair warning, though, your entire kitchen will wreak of weed. Maybe give the neighbors a heads up beforehand.
- Preheat oven to 225° F / 110° C
- Line an oven-safe dish with parchment paper
- Break down cannabis into small pieces
- Bake for 20 minutes to remove moisture (cannabis should look crumbly)
- Take out of oven and wait for it to cool
- Turn up oven to 240° F / 115° C
- Distribute cooled cannabis over the bottom of the dish
- Cover dish with aluminum foil
- Bake for 45-60 minutes
Follow These Cannabis Chefs
The decarboxylation process is Step One. Step Two is adding this prepped cannabis to your food, and there are tons of delicious cannabis recipes to help you out. At the most basic level, you can create cannabis-infused butter, cannabis-infused oil, and cannabis-infused sugar (since most recipes call for at least one of these ingredients anyway). Take a look at these super helpful cannabis recipe sites:
1. Marijuana Recipes
Many sites have a “Cooking With Cannabis” section, but at Marijuana Recipes, it’s the whole picture. Chef and curator Payton Curry has over 21 years of restaurant experience, has owned multiple restaurants, and appeared on dozens of television stations. At Marijuana Recipes, you can find cannabis-infused sauces (tomato vinaigrette, apple sauce, marinara sauce, etc.), cannabis-infused desserts (peaches and cream, chocolate ganache, baklava etc.), and even drinks like Thai Iced Tea and Bloody Mary.
This next one may seem like a cheat, but Pinterest is flooded with cannabis recipes. The best part about Pinterest is that it draws cooking tutorials from numerous sites and loads them into one single page for your convenience. Simply go to the home page and search for cannabis recipes. Just to see how easy it is, I tried it out for myself. I found recipes for cannabis-infused caramel, cannabis-infused chicken noodle soup, cannabis-infused vodka — and that’s just the beginning. Seriously, give Pinterest a shot!
3. Cannabis Cheri
Next up we have a homey site by the name of Cannabis Cheri. Here’s an excerpt from her About page: “Long before I became a medical marijuana patient and cannabis cook I was a professional food writer and recipe developer. As a foodie first, I always approach marijuana cooking recipe development from that perspective, believing there’s no reason to have to choke down bad tasting or boring edibles in order to receive the benefits of edible cannabis.” Sounds good to us! Her Food section features mouthwatering cannabis muffins, salads, and even an entire Thanksgiving meal plan!
4. Sous Weed
We all have those friends who claim to be cannabis chefs but never really WOW us with their edibles. We’ve all seen the pot brownies, the pot Rice Krispies, and the pot gummies. At Sous Weed, however, all the basics go out the door! This site is reserved for those who really know their way around the kitchen. It takes a seasoned chef to whip up medicated hamachi confetti crudo, Korean beef shank, and Vietnamese-Cajun seafood boil. Sous Weed does not play around. Gosh, we’re eyeballing that medicated hibiscus and rose cheesecake tart so hard.
Common Cannabis Mistakes in the Kitchen
For every problem, there’s a solution. The biggest mistakes cannabis chefs make in the kitchen are:
- using too much product (a little goes a long way),
- throwing ground cannabis into the cooker (decarboxylate the cannabis first),
- grinding the cannabis into soft powder (you want coarser grind),
- and not mixing the ingredients well enough (you want each bite to have an equal amount of cannabis in it).
And there you have it! Cooking with cannabis can be fun, delicious, and most importantly, beneficial, as long as you abide by the decarboxylation process. From there, the sky’s the limit! You can achieve anything in the kitchen with the cannabis you already have sitting in the grinder. Not only do they taste good, but edibles can provide a number of medical benefits, from uplifting your mood to helping you sleep better to lowering your stress levels. There’s really no reason to keep cannabis out of the kitchen.