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A Beginner’s Guide to Cooking with Cannabis

cooking with cannabis

Cooking with cannabis and making your own edibles is a fun and interesting process. Marijuana is food-friendly and has a specific smell, flavor, and nutrition. Also, you don’t need any special tools to cook cannabis, all you’re calling for is a bit of knowledge, the required ingredients, and time. 

Table of Contents

Difference Between THC and CBD

Before cooking marijuana, you should know the difference between the two most widely known cannabinoids – THC and CBD. The most important is that THC creates the feeling of being chilled out and happy while CBD does not produce these psychoactive effects. On the contrary, when you take them at the same time, it can even kill this “high” effect of THC. 

THC Edibles Differ from Smoking

It’s worth remembering that smoking cannabis has a much stronger effect which comes much faster than if you’re eating food with weed. In the latter case, it can take from 20 minutes to 24 hours to get to. Marijuana edibles produce a stronger long-lasting high than cigarettes. It is always good to take one small dose of the edible and wait about 1 to 2 hours. You can wait even longer to check your calculations and strain potency.

Control Your Dosage

It’s recommended to take your dosage seriously, especially if you’re a newbie. Make no mistake thinking the more THC, the more fun is expected. Over-intoxication on cannabis is not a joke and can cause very unpleasant effects

Choose the Right Strain

choose the right strain

First of all, before buying, make sure the strain you’re going to use has the plant profile that produces desired effects. You can try different ones, from high CBD strain to some THC strain, and choose a good one for your situation. If you don’t know the potency of the strain, start low and go slow with your first couple of snacks or infused meals.

It’s good if you can smell a selection of different strains to understand what type of weed smells best to you.

Don’t Use Raw Weeds

Raw marijuana is non psychoactive. In its raw form, cannabis is an ordinary vegetable. If you need to extract cannabinoids from the flowers, you should clean them up and cure them. Fortunately, almost all strains that are purchased at retail pharmacies are dried and cured, so you should not worry about it. The process of preparing cannabis is a bit more complicated than just putting some buds inside brownies. There’re some issues to solve before putting cannabis in your favorite sweet or savory recipes.

The Basics You Need in the Kitchen

The edible preparation always takes some necessary tools. In most cannabis recipes you’ll need the same equipment as in other recipes. It includes a pot, measuring cups, mixing mugs, and other instruments for cooking or regular baking. First of all, you should think about what you’ll be cooking with cannabis: maybe you’d like to make cannabis infused butter, cannabis cooking oil, brownies, tea, or honey. Thus, if you cook baked goods with marijuana, you may need baking sheets, a baking tray, and a thermometer.

Please check the recipe beforehand so it will be easier to decide what equipment and ingredients are required. Also, make sure you have enough time when cooking with cannabis. For example, if you cook oil from weed, it will take at least two hours to complete.

Find An Appealing Recipe

The easiest way to make comfort food is to make something you’ve already tried and knew the taste and the steps of cooking. It can be whatever you desire. Box brownie mix is a perfect choice for the first time, that’s how you can avoid getting confused when trying new recipes and cooking technologies.

Don’t be afraid to do something wrong. Even an unsuccessful attempt eventually leads to an expected result. Just make sure you dose your meals properly when cooking with weed.

How to Make Edibles with Cannabis?

how to make edibles with cannabis

The most common mistake in cooking with cannabis is forgetting about decarboxylation. You should do it to convert the cannabinoids to THC or CBD for more intense and enhanced effects. Otherwise, you won’t feel much from your edible.

The heat of decarboxylation provides conversion. Activation for CBD begins at 295°F for 30 to 60 minutes, for THC – at 240°F for 30 to 60 minutes but some chefs prefer slightly higher temperatures. We can compare it with smoking weed: you feel the effects because the heat converts the cannabinoids.

The decarb process is simple to complete at home with general kitchen equipment without using sophisticated tech. Keep in mind that the decarboxylation process is accompanied by a potent smell. 

The Decarb Process

Let’s start with the equipment:

  • Cannabis
  • A baking tray
  • Parchment paper

The steps of decarbing:

  • Preheat your oven to 240°F or 295°F depending on the strain you use
  • Split up the dried flower into little pieces without using a grinder
  • Place some parchment paper on the baking tray and put the cannabis on top in one layer leaving some space between the pieces
  • Place the tray in the preheated oven on a middle rack and heat cannabis for 45 minutes. 
  • Remove the tray and leave it to cool 
  • After cooling, put your converted cannabis in an airtight container until you start cooking or be ready to infuse

Making Cannabutter

making cannabutter

After decarboxylation, you can start to cook. Cannabutter will help you easily infuse the benefits of cannabis into foods. The required ingredients are:

  • Butter
  • Decarbed cannabis
  • A pot

To complete this recipe you’ll need to:

  1. Melt your butter in a pot over low heat
  2. Add water and dried marijuana flower when melted
  3. Keep a pot at a low simmer for two to three hours. A temperature below 190°F is recommended
  4. Remove a saucepan from heat and leave it to cool but not give it to solidify
  5. Pour your cannabutter through the cheesecloth and put it into a food-safe container
  6. Store it in the fridge to make it solidify. Don’t forget to pour timely the remaining water that has separated

How to cook Cannabis Oil

Also, you can cook another common marijuana infusion recipe to treat yourself, cannaoil.  You’ll need:

  • Decarbed cannabis
  • Some cooking oil you choose, for example, olive oil or coconut oil
  • A stewpot

Dose your cannabis by weight and make sure you make all the calculations to avoid unwanted effects. If you’re going to cook large batches, it usually calls for a 1:1 ratio, which means you should take one cup of your decarbed cannabis to one cup of coconut or olive oil.

After calculating you can follow the next cooking steps:

  1. Mix both the olive oil (or any other of choice) and marijuana in your stewpot
  2. Set the infusion to 240°F, and leave it to cook for 3 hours
  3. Set the oil aside for cooling
  4. Once cooling, pour your cannaoil through the cheesecloth and put it into a food-safe container
  5. Store it in the fridge to finish cooling and use your infusion while cooking.

Main Rules of Adding Oil To Your Edibles

Once your oil or butter is prepared, you can substitute your regular oil/butter with it in any recipe you’d like.

The main thing you should remember about cooking with cannabis oil is temperature conditions. Cooking in high temperatures can be costly, as cannabinoids will degrade at temperatures above 365°F. Usually, a regular oven or stovetop is not accurate with temperatures. Make sure the temperature is capped at 340°F to avoid degradation. 

That’s why you’d better leave out your oil or butter until the end and infuse once your food is almost complete. Remove the pan from heat, then add your oil or butter and mix it through.

Don’t Forget to Mix Thoroughly

Before eating or while making edibles, mix your oils and kinds of butter well with every recipe. This will allow the THC to distribute evenly. Also, be aware of settling the cannabis oil a bit to the bottom.

Storing Your Edibles

storing your edibles

There’re no specific rules or requirements for cannabis products. You can store them in the same way you store the foods made by the ordinary recipe: in the fridge for some savory creations, or in the pantry for cookies and brownies. But there are some safety requirements you should know.

First of all try to store cannabis edibles, butter, and oil in an airtight container, especially if it has a strong cannabis scent.Lastly, but the most important one, keep your marijuana edibles out of reach of children. Small children can suffer acute cannabis intoxication from much smaller doses of cannabis than an adult because of their lower weight and body size. Try to store edibles with marijuana in a safe place.

Culinary Lessons

So you want to learn how to cook with cannabis? That’s great! Maybe you’re already a pretty good cook, but you’ve been looking for something new and exciting. Maybe your friends always ask you to bring edibles to parties because they love your food so much. Maybe you just want to expand your culinary skills and try something new.

Whatever the reason, we have good news for you: there are special courses for learning how to cook with cannabis! Yes, really. If you go online or ask at a local store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, they’ll be able to point you toward some options in your area.

But why is it better to learn how to cook with cannabis from professionals? Well, let us count the way. You’ll get an education that goes beyond recipes and techniques. You’ll be learning about the history of cannabis use in cooking and the science behind how it affects your body and mind when consumed. This can help make your cooking more nuanced and sophisticated—and give it an edge over other home cooks who just wing it without knowing what they’re doing!

In the course of the last few years, cannabis has become a popular ingredient in cooking. A lot of famous Michigan cannabis chefs have already tried their hand at this new trend and have prepared some very tasty dishes.

Here are some of Michigan cannabis chefs:

Gordon Ramsay – he is known for his skillful cooking techniques, so it’s no surprise that he uses cannabis in one of his dishes. Even if he is not considered a cannabis chef, Ramsay has prepared a dish called “cannabis butter-fried chicken” which consists of fried chicken legs coated with cannabutter and topped with green onions. The chef claims that this dish is not just tasty but also healthy (it contains Omega 3 fatty acids).

A notable example is Alice Waters, who is a famous American chef. She used cannabis in her dishes and drinks when she was creating a vegan restaurant called The Green Table. It is not a weed infused restaurant but it’s worth visiting.

Another chef who has used cannabis in his food is Andy Harris, who is also known as “The Pot Chef”, but not a cannabis chef as well. He has been cooking with cannabis for years now, and he has even written a book about it called Cannabis Cuisine: The Easy Guide To Cooking With Weed.

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