The psychoactive effects of cannabis are well documented -- and pot stores sell “edibles” to deliver that effect. But the plant's taste profile is another story.
Boulder writer Robyn Griggs Lawrence tries to tell that story in “The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook.” It’s a collection of recipes from 12 chefs who have experimented with marijuana as "another fine ingredient to be studied and savored."
Griggs Lawrence spoke with Ryan Warner. Click on the audio link above to hear their conversation. Read below for some cannabis cooking tips and recipes.
1. Start with tiny amounts of cannabis-infused foods. Start low, go slow.
2. If entertaining, infuse a dressing, sauce or something that lets guests add the cannabis themselves.
3. Make sure whatever cannabis-infused fat you're using is well integrated into the food.
4. Find a place to lock up any cooking cannabis and keep away from children, just as you might do with alcohol. Make sure any leftovers are clearly labeled.
5. Have separate tools for cooking with cannabis.
(Reprinted from "The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook" by Robyn Griggs Lawrence with permission.)
Disclaimer: THC Calculations for these recipes were made based on the assumption of 10 percent THC in the plant. That's used as a standard, but your chances of growing or buying cannabis with 10 percent THC are extremely low. These calculations are for comparison purposes only. The potency of the material you use is the most important indicator of how a recipe will affect you.
Popcorn with Cannabis Butter and Spicy Hemp Furikake
When Rowan Lehrman lived in Funabashi City, Japan, as a teenager, she introduced her host family to stove-popped popcorn, and the family introduced her to furikake, a mixture of dried fish, seeds, and seaweed that every Japanese family keeps on hand to pickle, spice, and sprinkle on rice. That exchange led Rowan to dream up this snack: popcorn drizzled with two teaspoons of cannabis butter and sprinkled with her own version of furikake made with seaweed, dried orange peel, and lavender, Aleppo pepper flakes, hemp, poppy, and sesame seeds. The sweet-salty furikake stands up to earthy cannabis butter, and the Aleppo pep- pers, while fairly mild, prevent Rowan from eating too much popcorn too quickly. If you have cannabis fan leaves, you could cut a handful into 11⁄2" pieces, toss them with olive oil to coat, and crisp them in a 275-degree oven for about 20 minutes to make cannabis chips as a substitute for nori in the furikake. They won’t add a lot of THC, but they’ll add nutritional value and CBDs. With roughly a teaspoon of cannabis butter per person, this popcorn is just right for enjoying a movie but won’t leave you stuck on the sofa watching infomercials for the rest of the night. You can increase or decrease the popcorn’s potency (and calories) by drizzling on more or less cannabis butter or substituting a teaspoon of regular butter.
THC per serving:
With Beginner’s Butter (recipe on page 106): 1 milligram
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1⁄3 cup organic popcorn
2 teaspoons cannabis-infused butter
unsalted butter, to taste
Spicy Hemp Furikake (recipe below)
Have a large serving bowl handy.
In a 2-quart lidded saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add popcorn and place lid slightly askew to let steam escape. At roughly 10-second intervals, begin shaking the pan by moving it gently back and forth across the burner. As the corn starts to pop, shake more vigorously. When popping slows to a few seconds between pops, remove pan from burner and place popped corn in serving bowl.
Add cannabis butter and regular butter to the same saucepan and melt. Pour melted butter over popcorn, season liberally with furikake, and mix with your hands to evenly distribute.
Store leftovers in a labeled, airtight jar.
Spicy Hemp Furikake
This Japanese staple can be sprinkled on popcorn, rice, eggs, or fish.
Makes roughly 1⁄2 cup
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried orange peel
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon dried lavender
1 sheet toasted nori or a handful of toasted cannabis leaf chips
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 teaspoons sugar
Make furikake in batches by combining hemp seeds, pepper flakes, orange peel, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and lavender in an electric spice grinder, pulsing until almost a powder but leaving some of the spices intact so that the mixture has texture.
With your fingers or kitchen shears, finely crumble or snip nori (or cannabis chips, if using) into a bowl. Add ground spices, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine. Store in a labeled, airtight container for up to 1 year.
Winter Squash Roasted in Cannabis Oil with Pomegranate Seed and Dried Cherry Stuffing
When Donna Shields needs an ideal vessel for a stuffed, roasted side dish or vegetarian main dish, she turns to winter squash. High in vitamins C and K, beta-carotene, and other antioxidants, winter squash has anti-inflammatory properties and is great for fighting off colds and flu. For this dish, Donna bathes acorn and Hubbard squashes (any striped round or oblong winter squash would do) with cannabis-infused coconut oil, fills them with sweet, savory stuffing made using creamy coconut milk, and roasts them. This recipe calls for only two table- spoons of infused coconut oil, but Donna warns that the coconut milk gives the dish a pretty high fat content and makes it more potent. THC, a fat-soluble molecule, binds to fat, exacerbating its psychoactive effects. “Fat does potentiate the cannabis’s effect,” Donna says. “A recipe with more high-fat ingredients will be more kickass.”
With Cannabis-Infused Coconut or Olive Oil (page 101): 14 milligrams
With 20-Minute Cannabis Olive Oil (page 103): 9 milligrams With Beginner’s Oil (page 100): 1 milligram
1 2–3 pound winter squash
2 tablespoons cannabis-infused coconut oil
1 cup fresh whole-grain breadcrumbs
1⁄2 cup cilantro
1⁄4 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
1⁄4 cup dried tart cherries
1⁄4 cup coconut milk (preferably canned)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Prick squash several times with fork and microwave on high 3–5 minutes until slightly soft to the touch. If you don’t have a microwave, pierce squash with a fork and bake for 20 minutes in a 350°F oven until just soft enough to easily cut open.
Cool, cut in half, and discard seeds. Drizzle coconut oil onto both cut sides.
In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cilantro, sun- flower seeds, dried cherries, coconut milk, garam masala, and salt.
Stuff both squash cavities and sprinkle with pepper.
Bake for about an hour or until squash is fork tender. If needed, cover with foil during roasting to prevent too much browning.
To serve, top with a dollop of sour cream and pomegranate seeds.