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You, like so many out there, have come to the period in quarantine when you get really, really into baking. Breads, cookies, cakes, muffins — you name it, you’ve baked it. Baking can be a fun and rewarding way to pass the time, but if you have spent the past few weeks baking, you might be looking for a new way to challenge your newfound kitchen skills.
Here it is: weed. Making your own edibles is even more fun than regular baking because you get to experiment with the quite strange ingredient of marijuana. To get you started on your new baking journey, here are some tips and top recipes worth following.
Before you toss some dank nugs into whatever box cake mix you have on your shelf, you should know that cooking with weed requires a bit more preparation than that if you want your edible to taste good and get you high. The best first step in cannabis cookery is creating cannabutter, or some other cannabis-infused oil, which you can then use in almost any recipe to produce a funky, psychoactive treat.
You might be able to find cannabutter or an infused oil for cooking at your local dispensary, and it might be good to buy this fundamental ingredient for your first foray into baking with weed. I know that most dispensaries in California carry this cannabis staple. However, if you do want to test your kitchen skills, you can pick up some bud or trim and follow this recipe:
Lightly grind cannabis bud/trim and spread evenly over an aluminum foil–covered baking sheet. Bake at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes to decarboxylate the cannabis, activating the cannabinoids.
Bring water to a boil and add the butter, turning the heat to medium-low. When the butter is fully melted, add your decarboxylated cannabis. There should be at least an inch of water beneath the floating cannabis; add more water if needed. Cook the mixture on medium-low for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally and ensuring the mixture doesn’t boil.
Using two layers of cheesecloth, strain the mixture into a large, clean bowl. The mixture will be hot, so use a spatula or other kitchen utensils to wring the oily butter mixture from the plant matter. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, the infused cannabutter will be hardened on top, and you should be able to pop it out of the bowl for storage in an air-tight container.
Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze to preserve it for months.
Chocolate is the go-to ingredient to cook with marijuana because it is an aggressive flavor that balances out the sometimes vegetal cannabis taste. That’s why you often find chocolate-flavored edibles, be they brownies, chocolate bars, truffles, chocolate cake or chocolate chews.
In truth, you can substitute cannabutter for regular butter or other oils basically one-to-one, meaning you can make pot brownies with box mixes or virtually any brownie recipe. Here’s the best one I could find, which utilizes a recipe from renowned chef Mario Batali.
Waking and baking is so much easier and more enjoyable when you work from home, so making weed-packed breakfast muffins might be a good way to help you start your mornings in quarantine right. As with brownies, when you are equipped with cannabutter, you can transform every normal recipe into a fun weed recipe, so if you have some regular muffins you adore, you might try making them with cannabutter for an exciting change. Alternatively, you can throw together these (sort of) healthy zucchini muffins, adding whatever muffin mix-ins get you going after you roll out of bed.
As the coronavirus crisis extends into summer, many are worrying that their plans for the most patriotic time of year — Flag Day, anyone? July 4th, hello? — will be put on hold until 2021. Though it isn’t prudent to host your annual Independence Day party, you can still celebrate America’s birth with a patriotic apple pie, this time laced with the most American of psychoactive drugs. You can augment this recipe for weed-infused apple pie however you like, but I enjoy melting a few slices of American cheese on top for extra flavor.
Once you get a grasp on baking with cannabutter, you might try playing with dosing in cannabis infusions and dabble with inserting infused oils in other favorite recipes. However, you should always remember that edibles hit differently than smoking or vaping marijuana, so you should take consumption of your edibles slowly and enjoy the gentler high — or else you could fall into an overbaked quarantine nightmare.