Cooking with Cannabis: Guide to Baking with Cannabis
While you can absolutely purchase edibles of all different flavors and varieties from your favorite dispensary locations, you can also purchase the cannabis flower you need to make your own edible ingredients at home. These ingredients can easily be substitutes in your favorite recipes to turn just about anything into a cannabis-infused treat. In this guide, we’re going to walk you through the process of cooking with cannabis, from choosing your flower to making your own cannabis-infused ingredients.
How to Bake with Cannabis
Grab your aprons, a baking tray, a saucepan, a strainer or cheesecloth, your favorite recipe and its ingredients, and your cannabis. It’s time to start cooking. Just follow these three easy steps:
Step 1: Select Your Recipe
Like with most things, baking with cannabis is only as difficult as you make it. You can whip up edibles from scratch with your grandma’s favorite recipe or from a box mix off the supermarket shelf. If you like the taste of your decarboxylated marijuana, you may want a lighter recipe so you can taste the cannabis. If you prefer to hide the flavor, then you’ll want a more robust recipe. If you’re still unsure and you’re a fan of cannabis baked goods, we recommend giving our favorite marijuana brownie recipe a try. It’s easy for beginners, and most importantly, it’s delicious.
Once you have your recipe, it’s time to get your cannabis ready.
Step 2: Select Your Flower
Don’t underestimate the importance of picking your flower. You can choose your flower based on its potency, flavor, how you feel when you consume it, and even your budget. For example, let's say you want to make your favorite lemon bar edibles. When you look at your dispensary’s product menus, you notice Sour Diesel is available as premium flower, and Lemon Haze is available in popcorn flower. While premium flower may give you the best potency, you’re not going to want the diesel flavors of that premium strain in your lemon bars. Plus, it may be more cost effective to cook with popcorn until you get used to the process. In this case, opting for Lemon Haze is the right decision for your recipe and your pocket book.
Once you’ve got your flower, you’ll need to decarboxylate it or heat it to activate the cannabinoids. This process takes just a little bit of time, and it’s the only way to ensure your edibles will have a psychoactive effect.
Step 3: Choose & Create Your Base Ingredients
A quick Google search will show you that there are hundreds of recipes available for edibles that use a wide variety of base ingredients for baking with THC, like marijuana milk and cannabis honey. While these products certainly have their place, we find the two most versatile base ingredients are:
Cannabutter: Cannabutter is cannabis-infused butter that you can purchase from a dispensary or make at home.
To make it, choose butter (not margarine) with a high fat content, as this will help it better absorb the cannabinoids. Grind your decarbed marijuana and add it to a saucepan with a 1:1 mixture of melted butter and water in it. You want to simmer this mixture for a couple hours on a low heat to avoid boiling. After a few hours, strain the mixture, discard the ground cannabis, and refrigerate your cannabutter until it’s ready to use.
Get all the recipe details in our What is Cannabutter guide.
Cannaoil: Cannaoil is cooking oil infused with cannabis. While you can purchase it from a dispensary, most cannabis connoisseurs prefer to make it at home.
To do this, simply select a cooking oil, like avocado, olive, or coconut oil, that pairs with what you are making. Add a 1:1 mixture of ground, decarboxylated flower to a saucepan with your oil, and let it simmer on low heat for a few hours. Strain it and store your oil out of the heat and light until you’re ready to enjoy it. Cooking with cannabis oil is just as easy as any other oil.
After you make your product, test it to determine its potency. A little butter on a graham cracker or oil on a piece of bread and an hour’s wait time will tell you if you need to be careful with how much product you add to your mix when you’re baking with marijuana. If your product is particularly potent, you can always cut with half regular butter or oil to half cannabutter or oil. Adjust your recipe to your taste and tolerance levels.
The Dos and Don’ts of Baking with THC
As is the case with cooking anything, there are rules to follow if you want to make cannabutter or cannaoil correctly. First and foremost, start with the right flower. This can make all the difference in the flavor, potency, and effects of your edibles. Then, you’ll want to follow these additional 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
- Rush the process
- Skip decarboxylation
- Overcook butter or oil
As long as you follow these simple instructions, you should have plenty of cannabis-infused product to use over time. Just make sure you know how to store your cannaoil and cannabutter correctly.
Storing Your Marijuana Edibles
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.
Common Questions About Baking with Cannabis
When it comes to cannabis, we’re happy to answer any and all questions—especially when it pertains to creating delicious edibles. Here are a few of the most common questions we get about baking and marijuana:
Can you make with cannabis flower?
You can but if you want your edibles to have a psychoactive effect, you have to decarboxylate the cannabis flower first. This process will activate the THC in the flower and give you the effects most people look for when consuming edibles.
What are the best ways to make edibles?
The best way to make edibles is with concentrates—either store bought or homemade. For new marijuana chefs, purchasing concentrates makes it easy to get some experience cooking with cannabis without a lot of effort. Once you get comfortable making edibles with dispensary-bought product, seasoned edible creators prefer going through the work of making their own concentrate from marijuana flower. This method allows them to choose their strain, their potency, and even their flavors depending on the flower.
What are the best ingredients for edibles?
In our opinion, the best ingredients for edibles are cannaoil and cannabutter. These two versatile cannabis products can be applied to a wide variety of recipes, and best of all, you have the option to purchase them from a dispensary or just make them at home with your favorite flower.
Cooking with Cannabis Made Easy
While baking with marijuana may seem like a difficult task, it’s actually relatively simple as long as you’re patient. Just remember to keep the heat low when both decarbing your marijuana and creating your cannabis-infused products. Then, the most important thing is to ensure you don’t add too much product to your edibles. The good news is that you can always eat smaller pieces of edibles to counteract potency, or in the case of them not being potent enough, you still have a tray of delicious food. It’s a win-win.
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.
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