Infusing delicacies with marijuana has dramatically changed since the days I used to fry up some swag in butter (barely decarboxlyzing anything) and make brownies. The “professionals” often use hash, kief, and/or infused oils in recipes. However, CannibisCheri.com reminds us that cooking with flowers also has benefits as it more readily accessible, cost-effective (making ounces of oil will get expensive and you can you use lesser qualities of flowers aka bullshit and it still produces effects), and its simple as well as time-efficient. This article is to inform of different methods to utilize cannabis in food preparation. Subsequent articles on specific recipes will soon follow.
Be clear if you are going to use flowers as flour. Any flour is just something ground up into dust. So cannabis flour is simply flowers ground up to dust. It depends on what you want to do. I am not a baker and do not eat a lot of starchy foods it’s not my usual thing. Some utilize cannabis flour like seasoning. Sprinkle on top as a garnish. That is cool if you want to have your food simply taste like weed. Marijuana is smoked, steamed in tea, or vaped to activate the THC effects through a heating process. The slow simmering process of making a sauce, braising a meat or vegetable, and/or the process of sautéing allows the effects, more so than the flavor of the strain to penetrate the dish.
However, you can pre-make cannabis with activated THC quite easily. Activating THC is known as decarboxlyzation. Seedsupreme.com provides the simple method of taking a quarter of flowers, spreading it over a baking sheet, and bake for 35-45 minutes at about 240 degrees. Roasting it at this low temperature is not cooking it but rather activating the THC in the flowers. After it has cooled grind it to dust (in a food processor, clean coffee grinder, or clean salt grinder) and store in an airtight container for up to about 4 months. It is recommended to replace about 25% of the usual flour used in cooking. Be aware it will still have cannabis flavor so utilize it with dishes with an array of seasonings, spices, and bold flavors.
Cannabis-infused butter, aka canna-butter is simple to make and often the base for making edibles. As Leafly.com reminds us, it is difficult to determine the THC levels when infusing cannabis into edibles so there is no way to be certain of the potency or consistency of levels in each batch. To make canna-butter, simply grab a cup of butter (some prefer coconut oil for taste and higher smoke point) and a cup of your preferred ground flowers. Activate, or decarboxylate, the THC in the flowers using the process described above to make cannabis flour. Melt the butter (or coconut oil) with 1 cup of water in a pot and add the ground activated flowers. Simmer (using a thermometer to ensure temperature is between 160 and 200 degrees F) for two to three hours. Use a cheese cloth to gently strain the oil from the water into a jar. Do not press too hard being careful to not force sour tasting cooked plant fibers into the oil. After hours of refrigeration excess water will separate from the canna-butter. Again, THC levels will be variant so dose carefully.
I tend to make a lot of soups or sautéed vegetable dishes. The decarboxylation process, THC activation, is easily achieved by the slow simmering of the flowers into the cooking process. I add a little bit more curry, garam masala, and/or garlic spice blends than usual to my chick peas or tofu simmers to blend with the taste of the flowers. Towards the end of the cooking process (I may simmer some soups for an hour or more) I add the flowers to cook for twenty to twenty-five minutes.
Whether using flours, oils, or simply stirring your flowers into a slow cooking dish realize the flowers have flavors of their own. I would not want to try someone’s attempt at a sour diesel infused macaroni and cheese or scrambled eggs. Nah! Meals with savory multitudes of flavors, sauces and rich seasonings, as well as diverse soups and sautés are ideal for adding cannabis to not hide, but enhance and combine with the natural essence of the flowers. Enjoy experimenting friends!