Fancy a plateful of serenity or a soupçon of vibrancy served right in your kitchen? Welcome to the magical culinary world where flavors meet fun and marijuana meets your meal! You might have explored the green within smoking circles, but what if we told you that cannabis could be the secret ingredient to your next dinner showstopper? As bewildering as it may sound, combining cooking prowess with the nuanced potency of cannabis is not only possible but also incredibly delectable. In this blog post, we’ll uncover some mouth-watering cannabis-infused recipes which can "bake" your day at home while serving up a delightful buzz. So put on your chef's hat and light up the stove – it's time to cook up something delicious with cannabis from our Ottawa shop!
What is Cannabis Cooking?
Cannabis cooking, also known as cannabis infusion, involves preparing dishes and drinks using cannabis as an ingredient. The process of cooking with cannabis involves extracting the cannabinoids, the active compounds in the plant, and infusing them into the food or drink to create a psychoactive effect. The process requires precision and expertise, as it is essential to measure doses accurately, ensuring that users get the desired outcome. As more states and countries legalize cannabis use for recreational and medicinal purposes, interest in cannabis cooking has skyrocketed. Many people prefer cooking with cannabis over smoking it since it allows them to enjoy its benefits without inhaling smoke. Moreover, cooking with cannabis offers a fun way to explore new flavors and experiment with different infusion techniques. There are many variables when it comes to cooking with cannabis, making it challenging to determine the potency of each serving. Therefore, proper dose management is critical in cannabis cooking. Consuming too much can lead to unwanted effects such as dizziness, paranoia, and anxiety. On the other hand, consuming too little may not yield any effect at all. A few examples of dishes that you can create through cannabis infusion include appetizers like stuffed peppers infused with cannabutter, seafood pastas cooked with cannabutter shrimp or lobster, and salads made using infused dressings. Cooking with cannabis can be compared to cooking with wine where different varietals have different flavor profiles which alter depending on what dish they're paired with. How you prepare your cannabutter or infused oil will affect its taste just like how a misstep in making gravy could ruin an otherwise perfect pot roast dinner. While many people stir their cannabutter or infused oil into their dishes prior to serving – cluing everyone in that there’s something green going on – others believe that infusing dishes during preparation can prevent any unwanted flavor clashes. Some chefs also argue that infusing your oil or butter beforehand can lead to more potent results since it has longer time to introduce itself and blend into the other ingredients. Now that we know a bit about cannabis cooking, it's time to explore the key ingredients required to make these delicious recipes: Cannabis Butter and Infused Oil.
Key Ingredients: Cannabis Butter and Infused Oil
Cannabis butter and infused oil are versatile ingredients that can be used in a wide variety of dishes and drinks. They are essential components in cannabis cooking since the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant need fat or oil to bind with before they are introduced into food or drink. Cannabis-infused butter, commonly referred to as cannabutter, is often used instead of regular butter as an ingredient in making desserts like cakes, muffins, cookies, and brownies. In addition, cannabutter can be added to pasta dishes, sauces, gravies, steamed vegetables, and soups. Cannabis-infused olive oil, on the other hand, is perfect for drizzling on top of salads and roasted vegetables or using as finishing oil over pastas and grilled meats. It can also be used in marinades for meat dishes or added to dips like hummus or guacamole. A favorite example of cannabis-infused olive oil is a citrus cake topped with candied orange slices featuring a subtle lemony-cannabis flavor profile from the infused oil. Decarbing your cannabis plant using sous-vide - submerging them under water at low temperatures - preserves their natural flavors compared to oven-baked cannabis which has all its flavors baked out. While many prefer using the classic cannabutter for cooking due to it being able to impart its aroma well onto deeply flavourful roasts or sauces, some prefer oils for their neutral flavour and how it allows them to amplify or mute other flavour profiles and create a more seamless integration of those flavours. In the next section, we'll delve into how to make these key ingredients at home with ease.
Making Cannabis Butter at Home
Cannabis butter, also known as cannabutter, is a key ingredient in many cannabis-infused recipes. Making your own cannabutter is relatively easy and allows you to have more control over the potency of your edibles. To make cannabis butter, you will need unsalted butter, finely ground cannabis flower, cheesecloth or coffee filter, and a saucepan or slow cooker. Begin by melting the butter in the saucepan on low heat or in the slow cooker on low for 1-2 hours. Add your finely ground cannabis flower to the melted butter and continue to cook on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. After cooking, strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a coffee filter into a bowl or container to remove any plant material. Then refrigerate the mixture until it solidifies, and any remaining impurities settle at the bottom of the container. Once solidified, remove the butter from the container and discard any leftover water. I personally love making cannabutter as it's not only easy but also provides me with flexibility in terms of potency. Since I'm not comfortable with high doses of THC, being able to control how much cannabis I use when making my butter makes all the difference. Making cannabutter at home is not only cost-effective but also allows you to customize your edibles according to your preferences or dietary restrictions. For instance, using vegan alternatives such as coconut oil instead of butter enables you to create delicious vegan edibles. Now that we've covered how to make CBD-infused butter let's take a look at how to make cannabis-infused olive oil.
Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil Recipe
Cannabis-infused olive oil is another versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes such as salads, roasted vegetables, and desserts. It's an excellent alternative to cannabutter since it has a longer shelf life and can be used in dishes that require a low-fat content. To make cannabis-infused olive oil, you will need quality virgin olive oil, finely ground cannabis flower, cheesecloth or coffee filter, and an oven. Begin by decarbing your cannabis flower to activate the THC compounds. Preheat your oven to 220°F (105°C), place the finely ground cannabis on a sheet of parchment paper, and bake for about 30-40 minutes. Once cooled, add the decarbed cannabis flower into a saucepan and pour enough extra-virgin olive oil to cover the plant material. Heat the mixture over low heat for one hour while stirring occasionally. Be careful not to burn the mixture as this might affect the potency and flavor of your oil. After cooking, allow the mixture to cool before straining through cheesecloth or a coffee filter into a jar or container. Refrigerate until you're ready to use it in your next recipe. Making cannabis-infused olive oil is similar to making tea where time and temperature play crucial roles in ensuring you extract the right flavors while still retaining its potency. Cannabis-infused olive oil is my go-to ingredient when making salad dressings. Not only does it add an earthy flavor to my salads but also provides me with its health benefits. Now that we've covered how to make two key ingredients in cannabis cooking let's take a look at some delicious savory recipes you can try at home.
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, nearly 77% of chefs had ranked cannabis and CBD-infused food as the top trend in the food industry in 2019.
A study published in the Journal of Food Science in 2020 indicated that decarboxylation, a process used in cooking with cannabis, achieves around 88%-91% efficiency when converting the cannabinoid THCA into THC.
Cannabutter or cannabis butter is reported to have an absorption efficiency of about 60%. This means that if your cannabis strain has a THC content of 15%, your final product (cannabutter) will have roughly 9% THC.
Savory Cannabis Recipes
Cannabis is not just for sweet edibles like brownies and cookies. It can also be used in savory dishes to add a unique flavor and provide medicinal benefits. From pasta to seafood, the possibilities are endless when it comes to using cannabis in cooking. One classic savory recipe that has been given a cannabis twist is the famous spaghetti with meatballs. Traditional meatballs can be infused with cannabis butter or oil, which will deliver a therapeutic effect after consumption. The crunchy exterior of the meatballs coated with cannabis-infused breadcrumbs provides both a great texture and taste. Another simple but delicious savory dish that can be infused with cannabis is scrambled eggs. With the addition of cannabis butter, you can easily create cannabutter scrambled eggs that are both tasty and effective. If you're looking for something more filling, why not try cannabis-infused mac and cheese? This comfort food could be your new go-to dish at home. By adding cannabutter or infused olive oil, you'll enjoy its added therapeutic properties while enjoying a classic meal. One of my favorite savory cannabis recipes is stuffed peppers infused with cannabutter. The addition of the cannabutter brings a new level of richness to the stuffing mixture that pairs beautifully with bell peppers. A small serving can go a long way in uplifting one's mood, making it an excellent choice for weekend dinners or get-togethers.
Now let's move on to cannabis-infused pasta.
Pasta is among the most common everyday meals worldwide, which makes it an excellent option for adding cannabinoids into food without being too overpowering. The incorporation of cannabis into pasta dishes adds another layer of complexity and subtle flavor notes that make it an enjoyable meal. To begin, you'll need some cannabutter or infused olive oil to make your sauce base. You could also use any leftover butter from prior infusions to stretch out your cannabis resources. A few base-level spices like garlic, salt, and pepper can help elevate the taste profile of your pasta dishes. Once you have the infused ingredient base ready, creating a delicious cannabis-infused pasta dish is possible with almost any sauce as long as it doesn't overpower the cannabis. You can start with penne al la vodka or macaroni and cheese with cannabutter to enjoy its benefit while savoring the taste. The biggest challenge when cooking cannabis-infused pasta is getting the dosage right. Because the absorption time can vary for everyone, it's essential to avoid going overboard with this potent ingredient. Always remember to start with a small serving size and adjust accordingly before consuming more than needed. One of my go-to infused pasta meals is classic spaghetti marinara. Making a simple yet kick-ass marinara sauce by cooking garlic, onions, tomatoes mixed together with cannabis-infused olive oil in rich texture brings a new level of relaxation that takes an otherwise standard meal over the top. Whether you're in the mood for something savory or something comforting such as pasta dishes, adding cannabis to your recipes opens up a world of possibilities and pleasure.
Seafood with a Twist: Cannabutter Shrimp
Seafood lovers, rejoice! You can now add cannabis-infused dishes to your repertoire. One recipe worth trying is Cannabutter Shrimp. This dish combines the succulent flavors of shrimp and the soothing effects of cannabutter. To start, heat up a skillet over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon or two of regular butter. Once melted, throw in some peeled and deveined shrimp, seasoned with salt and pepper. Sauté the shrimp until they turn pink and are cooked through. Next, it's time to infuse the dish with cannabutter. In a separate pan, melt some cannabutter over low heat. Once melted, pour it over the cooked shrimp in the skillet and toss to coat evenly. Let the shrimp simmer for a few minutes to allow the cannabis-infused butter to fully permeate the dish. As with all edibles, portion control is key when incorporating cannabutter into your cooking. Be sure to start with a lower dosage and work your way up slowly to find what works best for you. Think of Cannabutter Shrimp as a sophisticated twist on classic shrimp scampi - one that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also offers relaxation benefits.
Of course, as with any cannabis-infused recipe, it's important to remember that edibles take longer to take effect than smoking or other forms of consumption. It's always best to start small and wait at least an hour before consuming more. Additionally, while cannabis is legal in many places for recreational use, it's still important to check local laws and regulations regarding cooking with cannabis.