The first thing you must do if cooking with cannabis is to activate the THC and/or CBD. And that requires heat. The process you will use to do this is called decarboxylation. This is what will give your edibles the “buzz” you want. Beyond that, however, raw cannabis placed directly into recipes will not allow the range of cannabinoids found in the plant to activate and bind to fat. You will just be wasting cannabis, in other words. And who wants that?
Melissa Parks, a classically trained chef who once worked in research and development for General Mills, is now the executive chef of Las Vegas-based edibles company Vert. She once orchestrated a dinner where she paired tokes of cannabis with dishes that complemented their terpenes. She married a particularly earthy strain called Bio-Diesel (“It had smells of when you drive into a forest over dirt with pine needles”) with a cocoa- and coffee-crusted pork tenderloin in sour cherry beurre blanc.
Cannabis has anti inflammatory properties, which when applied in a salve, will prevent your body from rushing to heal the wound. The rush of white blood cells to the injury is the cause of the scar and the anti inflammatory slows that process down. The scar doesn’t form as badly and while it is still there, won’t be as rough when it finally finishes healing.
“What decarbing does is it actually activates the THC or CBD,” Jeff explains. “Decarbing is done through heat and time. When you’re smoking weed, when you light it, the combustion automatically decarbs it, and you’re smoking THC. But when you’re cooking, if you don’t decarb it, you’re cooking with something called THCA. And that A molecule is basically blocking the THC from coming off the leaf into the butter or oil.”
After making several batches of cookies over the past year, in my opinion decarbing your weed before making butter might not be necessary. I noticed a weaker high when eating a decarbed cookie vs and undecarbed cookie. This is all anecdotal but that’s how I feel. The cooking process while making the butter which is a 3 hour long boil and while the cookies are being baked, should be enough. But those cookies jack me up more than any other edible I have ever purchased. I will always make my own.
I usually cook them in the oven at 325 for about 15-20 minutes, checking on them occasionally. When finished, these incredible treats will either get you super baked or be a reasonably simple thing to make when you’re staring at the baking section in the grocery store. I promise that you’ll love these things, even if you don’t like chocolate (like myself). You can’t go wrong mixing a cookie with a brownie and candy. These are also amazing when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Make these (medicated) and invite a few friends over. You’ll impress them and get them stoned!
This book, based on the Munchies and Viceland television series “Bong Appétit,” was published in October by Ten Speed Press. (This is in itself notable, as Ten Speed is one of the best cookbook publishers around, and continues the legitimate trajectory of the cannabis cooking genre.) The book has a comprehensive introduction that includes topics such as dosing, techniques, methods of decarboxylation and infusion, cannabis pairing tips, questions to ask your dispensary, tips on equipment and more. The recipes are sourced from the Munchies test kitchen and from many well-known chefs, whose recipes are recalibrated to add cannabis. Thus: Korean fried chicken from Deuki Hong of San Francisco’s Sunday Bird; fried soft-shell crab with shishito pepper mole from Daniela Soto-Innes of Cosme and Atla; and (my favorite) Joan Nathan’s preserved lemons. The Munchies test kitchen also has some fun ones, including herb focaccia with, well, herb; and confit octopus, in which a whole octopus is poached in cannabis-infused olive oil. If that sounds too aspirational, there are instructions for making an apple bong — a hollowed-out apple filled with weed-infused mezcal — at the end of the drinks chapter.
Cannabis-infused oil is probably the most versatile medium and a great place to start, since it can be used for baking desserts, sautéing veggies, frying up your morning eggs, or in your salad dressing. In addition, as is the case with cooking anything at home, you have complete control over its preparation. Does peanut oil hold a special place in your heart? Make cannabis-infused peanut oil!