A Guide to Baking with Cannabis
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’d like to give cooking with cannabis a try, here are our step-by-step instructions:
- Making Cannaoil and Cannabutter
- What Equipment Do You Need?
- Step-by-Step Instructions
- The Do’s and Don’ts
- Recipe Ideas for Baking with Cannabis
- How Do You Store Edibles After Baking?
Making Cannaoil and Cannabutter
The most common way to cook with cannabis is to use cannabutter or cannaoil. You can infuse oil or butter with cannabis and use it as a substitute in recipes where you’d normally use oil or butter to make marijuana edibles. If you want to learn more about cooking with marijuana basics, here’s a quick guide to help you out.
What Equipment Do You Need?
You can make cannabutter and cannaoil with a simple setup, but having the right equipment makes the process easier and results in a better product. If you want to completely simplify the process, there are machines designed for infusing butter and oil with cannabis. However, these are expensive and unnecessary. If you want to make cannabutter or oil, here’s what you need
- Cannabis flower
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup butter
- Wooden spoon
- Herb grinder
- Fine strainer or cheesecloth
- Candy thermometer
- Food storage container
Step 1: 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.
THC vs. CBD content is also something to consider. THC is the compound that induces a high, while CBD is used for its non-psychoactive properties.
Step 2: 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.
While this might sound like a complicated step, all you have to do to decarb marijuana is bake it. Here’s how it works:
- Start by preheating your oven to 245 degrees Fahrenheit
- Break larger buds up into smaller pieces
- Spread the smaller pieces of marijuana out on a nonstick baking sheet
- Bake at 245 degrees for 30-40 minutes, tossing and moving the buds occasionally
When your flower has turned a slightly reddish-brown color, the decarb process is complete.
Step 3: Grind and infuse with butter
Now that the cannabis has been decarboxylated, you will need to grind it 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.
After you have at least 1 cup of decarboxylated, ground cannabis, here are the steps to infuse your butter:
- Add 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of water to the saucepan, and simmer on low
- As the butter melts, add in the ground cannabis flower
- Simmer on low heat for 2 - 3 hours, stirring occasionally to maintain a temperature of around 160 degrees Fahrenheit
What Temperature Do You Infuse Marijuana At?
When infusing oil or butter, you want to stay in a similar temperature range as when you’re decarbing the flower. Ideally, you should keep butter or oil at 160 - 200 degrees Fahrenheit when making cannabutter or cannaoil. A candy thermometer is a useful tool to test the temperature of the oil or butter every few minutes, maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the infusion process.
Step 4: Strain it and store it
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 chunks 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, store it in the refrigerator for all your cooking and baking needs.
The Do's and Dont's
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:
- 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
- Rush the process
- Skip decarboxylation
- Overcook butter or oil
Recipe Ideas for Baking with Cannabis
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.
If you’re using cannabutter or cannaoil in a recipe where you typically don’t measure, make sure you measure the amount you use. It’s better to start slow, that way you can figure out what the best dose is for you.
How Do You Store Edibles After Baking?
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.
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.
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.