Whether in your search for a healthy alternative or simply a need to explore cannabis dosage options, cannabis-infused meals are a great deal – a healthy way to enjoy cannabis promises without inhaling the usual toxin-laden smoke.
Besides its therapeutic promises, cannabis adds a unique flavor, aroma, and nutrition to your meals. Whether THC, CBD, or whole-plant, there are several things you should know to keep it right.
When cooking with cannabis, here’s a guide to follow:
Cooking with weed starts with selecting the right cannabis strain or product for your recipe.
For a cannabis bud infusion, you may want to play around with a range of strains to know what flower smell works best for you and your meal.
Also, when picking a strain, think of the desired effect.
While selecting between Indica and Sativa is a commendable first step, you may need to narrow it down some bit. This may entail understanding the terpene profile of your preferred strain and investigating the cannabinoid concentrations, particularly CBD, THC, and THCA.
After you’ve picked a strain, observe and take notes of its unique flavors and aromas, as well as the cannabinoid profile outlined on the package.
Besides cannabis flowers, you may also consider using cannabis-infused honey, cannabis oils, and powders in your meal. But before you enlist any of these, taste to know how well [or badly] the flavors may blend with other ingredients in your recipe.
We’d assume you’ve selected your preferred cannabis product.
Next, it’s time to sort out your other ingredients.
Just so you know, homemade infusions and cannabis products can bring their typical greeny flavor into your meal.
Pro chefs have their way of masking such loud flavors with complementary ingredients. While such ‘skill’ basically comes with experience, for now, just allow your taste bud lead you to what flavor mixes suit best.
Mastering flavor masking and flavor blends could be fun. But you’d need some regular practice and patience.
When making cannabis meals, too often, rookies miss this vital step. To enjoy the full potency of your flowers, decarboxylation is non-negotiable.
Noteworthily, THC activates after about 30 to 60 minutes at 240°F (115°C) while CBD may come alive after a similar time range at 295°F (146°C). While these are the most recommended ranges, a little higher temperature may not hurt.
Set your oven at 275°F (140°C) and place your pan, lined with parchment paper. Chop your buds into smaller sizes and allow to heat for, say, 20 minutes.
Regardless of your preferred method, stay within the 240–295°F (115–146°C) heating spectrum during decarboxylation.
Based on what’s available, you may consider decarboxylating the entire plant – buds, stems, and shake.
After decarboxylation, you may consider making your infusion (you’ll discover how this works soon).
You can extract your infusion with your butter, oil, or related fat-based products.
But if you can lay hands on a pre-packed cannabis product, that means less work for you. With these products, all you have to do is begin your cooking right away, following the product’s label guide.
Now, it’s time to get into cooking proper.
Cooking with marijuana is no rocket science – it’s as easy as adding your cannabis product (oil, powder, and whatnot) into your regular food recipe.
Note that your cannabis infusion is an ingredient that should be carefully measured into your preparation. Trust me, the need for dosages and accurate measurement cannot be overemphasized when cooking with cannabis.
If you’d rather create your own cannabis oil than buy already made infusion, here’s a helpful guide:
If you ever tried to mix a cannabis tincture with liquid, you probably noticed they don’t blend too well.
This is because pot is oil soluble but water-insoluble. For this, your best bet will be infusing high-fat oil – canola and olive oil, and coconut oil are typical recommendations. It all depends on your preferred flavor.
As mentioned, you may use all the parts of your weed or prefer only the buds. Either way, you’ll need to strain your oil before cooking.
Grinding your wind can be a breeze with a good quality cannabis grinder, widely available in weed stores.
A coffee grinder or food processor works too, but you may have to commit them exclusively to that purpose.
Place your saucepan over a cooker
Mix your buds and oil and patiently watch until the buds get submerged in your carrier oil.
Your recipe will determine the cannabis-to-oil ratio. But in the absence of a recipe, the 3:1 oil-to-cannabis ratio will do.
Based on personal preferences, you may even consider as much as 16:1 oil to cannabis ratio.
But if you’d be having your guest over, you may review downward to a more all-inclusive concentration.
Allow the weed and oil mix heat over a cooking pan or slow cooker until the herbs dissolve.
Remember the goal – to heat [not roast] your weed, so keep the heat down. You may add water intermittently to prevent having scorched buds.
For slow cookers, allow on low heat for around 6 to 8 hours. To obtain the highest possible potency, leave for as long as two days.
For saucepans, you should heat for about half the time for a slow cooker.
Note that the longer you heat, the more weed you get in your oil.
It’s time to extract your oil from the mixture.
Do this while still hot. A wire strainer may come in handy to help you pick out the largest chunks, but it requires some level of patience.
To get rid of all the weed particles, you may run the oil through a cheesecloth or coffee filter. Cheesecloth works faster but may be double layered.
If you aren’t using your oil immediately, then pour in an airtight jar and store in a dark place.
If you follow the steps above, making cannabis-infused meals can be a cakewalk. Remember making a cannabis-rich meal isn’t anything away from the norms. It basically entails throwing your cannabis extract or product in your regular recipes.
As you gain more experience, you’d find some exciting ways to conceal the earthy flavor and a more suitable dosage for you and your family.