People love marijuana so much that if they could eat it, they would. And they do! Humankind has been ingesting cannabis in the edible form for ages.
Beginning with ancient civilizations cultivating the crop, and now developing all the way into today’s current practices on to how to cook with marijuana, cannabis chefs through the years have been harnessing the plant’s cherished properties to craft meals containing that little bit of extra goodness.
For the present-day interest in edible cannabis, credit is due to The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, which was published in 1954 and came with a recipe for “Haschich Fudge.” This recipe for brownies became popular during the counterculture years of the 1960s and paved the way for cannabis-inspired culinary artists to put their own spin on how to cook with weed.
Baked goods such as cookies and cake-pops became popular weed-infused offshoots, and remain relevant recipes alongside newer ones like mac n’ cheese.
Cooking with weed offers benefits that aren’t present when using conventional ingredients typically found in home food preparation, namely the cerebral buzz and body high that’s missing from ordinary meals.
Some even say that the oral consumption of cannabis is a more efficient means of absorbing those coveted cannabinoids, as compared to smoking. However, the effects come with a slower delivery, being that absorption through the digestive tract can take much longer than the near-instantaneous transmission of inhaled marijuana smoke.
But before the beneficial compounds in marijuana can really be put to use in the kitchen, they first must be extracted from the plant itself. Let’s talk decarboxylation.
How to Cook with Weed: Extraction Process
Techniques on how to cook with marijuana have advanced leaps and bounds past the use of unrefined, raw plant material. Sure, throwing an eighth of weed into the weed cookie recipe may technically qualify them as “weed cookies”, but dry bud simply isn’t as potent or as tasty–two factors that should rank high on the checklist of any cannabis chef.
So how do you infuse THC with the ingredients in the kitchen? First, the cannabis must be heated enough to convert tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) into the psychoactive compound THC; a process called decarboxylation. When stuck in its acidic form, THCA is not available to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. In order for marijuana edibles to have any effect, decarboxylation must occur prior to ingestion. This isn’t the case for smoking marijuana, where plant matter in heated up and THC is available instantly.
Here’s how to do it:
- ¼ ounce of bud
- A ceramic plate
- Aluminum foil
- An oven
- Preheat oven to 200 °F.
- Grind bud, and then spread it evenly, as loose and flat as possible on the ceramic plate. Grinding the weed down to a fine consistency. This helps to keep the end product receiving consistent heat exposure time after time.
- Cover the ceramic plate in aluminum to create a sealed container.
- Place plate in oven at 200for 20 to 30 minutes. Check initially after about 20 minutes–if it needs to sit a little longer give it the additional 10 minutes.
- Decarbed weed should look slightly toasted, or brownish, and it should crumble easily when pinched between your fingers.
Decarboxylation techniques allow for the activation of THC prior to ingestion, and thus help in making a THC-infused concentrate that can easily replace key ingredients found in the kitchen, such as butter or oil.
Here is a cannabutter recipe that can make whipping up THC rich foods a piece of cake. Perfect for those looking how to bake with weed. This is good for ½ cup of cannabutter:
- ½ cup (1 stick) of salted butter
- ¼ ounce of cannabis buds, finely grounded and decarbed.
- Using low heat, melt the butter on the stove or in a crockpot. After adding the decarbed weed, simmer the saucepan contents on low heat for 45 minutes, while frequently stirring.
- Strain the butter into a dish. Make sure to get every bit out and then discard the remaining plant matter.
- Use cannabutter immediately or freeze it for later usage.
Recipes on How to Cook with Marijuana: Pot Pancakes
Here’s a simple recipe for a stack of THC-infused pancakes that will take about 20 minutes (if the cannabutter is already prepared).
- 1½ cups of flour
- 1¼ cups of milk
- 3½ teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 3 tablespoons of melted cannabutter
- Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl. In the center, hollow a pit and pour the milk, vanilla, egg and melted cannabutter. Then mix until an even consistency is reached.
- Heat a frying pan to a medium-high temperature. Spread butter or oil on the pan. Place batter into pan, using about ¼ of a cup for each individual pancake. Serve when both sides are browned to satisfaction.
Tips on How to Cook with Weed
- The potency of edible marijuana relies heavily on whether the weed is decarbed or not. Non-decarbed weed is less potent.
- Oil solubility is important when considering how to infuse THC. Using an oil-based solvent helps speed up the extraction process and allows for activation.
- Mix your bud with either butter or oil (some use coconut oil) and then remove the bud once they’ve cooked together–just sift it out.
- The efficiency of absorption of THC and other cannabinoids increases when merged with butter, oils, and other lipids.
- One pound of butter can absorb one ounce of weed, but takes about an hour to simmer.
- Sprinkle cannabutter over warm pasta or popcorn for immediate gratification.
- Cannabutter can be used whether you’re looking to cook or how to bake with weed.
- Use the same dishes and oven settings when making edibles for more reliable product each time. That way, you’ll hit the groove much quicker and more consistently.
by Diego Felix