Cooking With Cannabis
By Alice Grace
Enjoying an edible baked good or food product from a local dispensary is a treat indeed. But, for some who don’t live near a dispensary or for others who might have noticed these items are often very high in sugar and calories and want more diverse choices can cook or bake your own products to enjoy as you desire. But, there are methods by which the amateur cannabis cooks can get the most out of their product and yield the best results.
First, and most importantly, you will want to decarboxylate your cannabis. This is a slightly fancy process of baking your flowers at a lower temperature before using them to cook with so that all the wonderful cannabinoids in the product don’t dissipate in the oven. There are different classifications but the general rule of thumb is to heat the oven to 245°F (120°C) and cook the buds for about thirty to forty minutes and stir after every ten minutes.
After that you’ll want to grind them – but not too finely – as that can lend a weird taste or color to your baked goods. A simple hand grinder works best or a few pulses in a food processor good enough to break down the flowers to a coarse grind.
Next you’ll add oil or butter or some type of fat-based material to the coarse grind and blend together. Once fully combined strain the mixture using a fine sieve or cheesecloth to extract the less pure and less tasty leafy byproducts from the mixture. This is important because cannabinoids bind to the fats so the left over plant material is really an unnecessary and unwanted part of the process. When measuring out how much bud to combine with oil or butter it is best to use a 1:1 ratio otherwise you are being wasteful.
After straining the mixture can be used in all your dishes but will need to be checked for potency. More isn’t always more when making edibles. The recommended or typical dose of THC in a brownie for example is about 10 milligrams so you will want to pay attention to the concentration in the buds you are using and gauge accordingly. Or not.
Some other things to keep in mind when using canna-oil or canna-butter into your baked goods is not using super high heat. After about 350 degrees the cannabinoids will break down and all the work and effort will be for naught. One way to side step that is to add it in at the end of cooking so the flavors and benefits are infused into the meal or dessert but the temperature and duration of cook time hasn’t eroded the cannabinoids.
The possibilities are endless and you can try incorporating canna-butter or canna-oil in your favorite recipes with much greater control over the sugar, calories or contents in the dish. Now you just have to figure out what to cook!