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Cooking with Cannabis: Guide to Baking with Cannabis

rolling pin with flower and cracked eggs

There's a new ingredient being used across kitchens in America: cannabis. As recreational and medical marijuana programs are expanded at the state level, more home cooks and trained chefs are incorporating cannabis into their cuisines. If you want to learn more about cooking with marijuana basics, here’s a quick guide to help you out.
 

Select Your Base Ingredients

Anyone who has spent time in the kitchen knows that not all butters and oils are created equal -- the same goes for flower! When gathering your ingredients, think about how they will impact your finished dish, as well as what you can store and use again later.

  • Cannabutter: choose a butter with a high fat content, as this will help it better absorb the cannabinoids. And remember to use butter, not margarine!
  • Cannaoil: Select a cooking oil that pairs with what you are making: coconut oil can be used for cooking and baking, while olive or avocado oils tend to be more savory.

Before you start cooking or baking with cannabis, it’s a good idea to do some flower research. Determining what flavors you enjoy and your desired effects can help ensure you create an edible that not only tastes good but feels good, too.
 

Making Cannaoil and Cannabutter

The most common way to cook with cannabis is to use cannabutter or cannaoil. Once you have infused butter or oil prepped, you can use it as a substitute in recipes where you’d normally use oil or butter to make marijuana edibles.

Here are the basic steps involved in the infusion process:

  • Pick your Flower: The first step to cooking with cannabis is to pick your flower based on what you want out of your edibles. When you look at dispensary product menus, you’ll see a variety of strains in indica, sativa, and hybrid, available as premium, popcorn, or shake flower. This can be intimidating! If you need help, the dispensary budtenders are there for guidance.
     
  • Decarboxylate the Marijuana: Once you’ve got the right flower, it’s time to decarboxylate (or decarb) the marijuana. This refers to the process of heating flower to activate the cannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc.). Without it, your infused dishes won’t allow diners to experience the plant’s unique effects. Need help? Check out our guide to decarboxylating flower.
     
  • Grind the Flower: Once decarboxylated, you will need to grind your flower into a fine powder. While some people use a clean coffee grinder or scissors, it’s best to use an herb grinder to get a consistent grind. These grinders are affordable and easy to use.
     
  • Infuse with Your Ingredients: When infusing cooking oil or butter with cannabis, remember to use low heat and take your time. You’ll want to ensure the entire contents of the pan are infused with flower.
     
  • Strain & Store: After you’ve infused your oil or butter with marijuana, it’s time to strain out the flower so you’re left with an infused product with a smooth consistency. You can use a fine mesh strainer to do this, but you may end up with small bits of leaves and buds in your finished product. Using a cheesecloth is a good way to make sure you get all the chunks out for a smooth, consistent product.

Once you have your finished cannabutter or cannaoil, store it in the refrigerator for all your cooking and baking needs.
 

Cannabis Baking Options

Because cannabis has a naturally earthy flavor, it can be challenging to create edibles that suit your palette. Of course, some flavor combinations lend themselves to this earthy essence, but it may involve some trial and error in order to get it right.

Some of the most popular recipes for cooking with cannabis include:

The Do’s and Don’ts

As is the case with anything, there are rules to follow if you want to make cannabutter or cannaoil correctly. First and foremost, start with the right flower. Here are some of the other do’s and don’ts of cooking with cannabis:

Do's:

  • Use high-quality butter or oil to start
  • Keep your butter or oil at a consistent temperature
  • Cook your butter or oil for 2 - 3 hours
  • Choose quality flower that offers the effects you desire
  • Place cannabutter or cannaoil in the fridge as soon as it’s strained

Don'ts:

  • Rush the process
  • Skip decarboxylation
  • Overcook butter or oil
     

Common Questions About Baking with Cannabis

Why is my cannabutter green?
It’s perfectly normal for your cannabutter or cannaoil to have a green tint to it, as the cannabis flower is also green. The more flower you use in your recipe, the greener it will look.

Will my edibles taste like marijuana?
That depends on the recipe and the amount of cannabutter or cannaoil you use. A simple brownie recipe could have a cannabis taste to it. (Which is not always a bad thing!) A good way to avoid it, though, is to use a flavorful recipe to mask the marijuana taste.

What happens if I want to bake with raw marijuana flower?
It may seem much easier to sprinkle popcorn flower into your batter, but if you don’t decarboxylate the cannabis then you will just be eating edibles with chunks of plants in it. Decarboxylation is how the cannabinoids (like THC) are activated to give the edibles the effects you want.
 

Storing Your Cannabis Creations

You can store your edibles for a while after you bake them, but it’s important that you do it the right way. Both your cannabutter (or cannaoil) and edibles should be stored in an airtight, food-safe container. If the recipe you’re making is typically stored in the fridge after baking, make sure you store your edibles in the fridge to keep them safe as long as possible. Of course, keep your edibles stowed securely away from your pets and little ones, and always label them accordingly.

Cooking with cannabis is as easy as that. With a few simple tools and a bit of time, you can make your own edibles at home.

Once you’ve made your cannabutter or cannaoil, you may add it to your favorite recipes. Some of the most popular recipe ideas for baking with cannabis include brownies and cookies, but you can use cannabutter or cannaoil in place of butter or oil in any recipe.
 

Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.

You assume full responsibility for using your best judgment when cooking with raw ingredients such as beef, poultry, or eggs, and seeking information from an official food safety authority if you are unsure. You must also take care to not physically injure yourself by coming into contact with hot surfaces, sharp blades, and other kitchen hazards. It is your responsibility to review all listed ingredients in a recipe before cooking to ensure that none of the ingredients may cause a potential adverse reaction to anyone eating the food based on recipes featured in this blog post. This includes allergies, pregnancy-related diet restrictions, etc. Please consult with your medical professional before using any recipe if you have concerns about how you may individually react to the use of any particular recipe or ingredient. By voluntarily creating and using any recipe provided here, you assume the risk of any potential injury that may result. All information provided regarding nutrition in this post is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Content related to nutrition is not medical advice nor is it intended to replace medical advice. This post is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. Before beginning any diet program, modifying your diet, or making changes to the diet of a child in your care, including following the nutrition information available in this post, you should seek advice from a licensed professional.The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the statements contained in any information on this Website. Individual results may vary. We are not responsible for any liability, loss, or damage, caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the nutrition information available in this post. The author disclaims liability for incidental or consequential damages and assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of use of the information provided in this blog post. The author assumes or undertakes no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of any information found on this Website. From time to time, this Website will publish content with recipes. All such recipes have been tried and used successfully, but results may vary from person to person. Consult your medical professional before using any recipe if you have concerns about how you may individually react to the use of any particular recipe or ingredient. By voluntarily creating and using any recipe provided here, you assume the risk of any potential injury that may result.

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