As marijuana goes mainstream, now legal across Canada and many US states, the world of edibles is exploding and trained chefs like Matt Pavini are cooking up scrumptious sweets and savory snacks that not only taste delicious but come with significant and proven medicinal benefits. “I started making marijuana-infused products after I was in a bad car accident,” says Pavini, who is from Boston.
He says he was in a lot of pain, couldn’t sleep, and was actively trying to avoid opioids after losing a friend to them.
“Edibles are amazing at keeping me asleep,” says Pavini. “Smoking will get me tired, but edibles keep me asleep.”
On average, a well-crafted edible will take about an hour to kick in with euphoric effects lasting for up to six hours.
Not content with the few edible products available at local dispensaries, Pavini decided to put his own kitchen skills to the test, beginning with the likes of cannivore caramels and progressing to ganja gummies. His business, Buttah King, offers a variety of treats including old-fashioned lollipops — a modified 1940s recipe from Matt’s grandmother.
“She gave it to me to help start my venture,” he says. “Coming out of the cannabis closet was weird at first but now she is using CBD every day. I love getting the call that she needs more candy or salve.”
Cannabis in the Kitchen
Cooking or baking with cannabis is extremely easy. In fact, all you really need is a few grams of shake, some butter or coconut oil, an oven, a small crockpot, and some basic math skills to determine the potency of your edibles.
Aside from firecrackers, almost every recipe (including the ones below), from mellow mac and cheese to magic muffins, will call for either cannabis-infused butter or coconut oil. After you’ve decarboxylated your cannabis in the oven at 200°F for 30 minutes (to release the active THC), add in an equal amount of butter or coconut oil and a tablespoon of lecithin in a small crockpot where it should simmer on low for eight to 12 hours. After it’s cooled down a bit, squeeze every last drop of oil using a cheesecloth through a strainer and into a mason jar. From there, it’s ready to elevate to any recipe you desire, one teaspoon at a time.
“You can infuse just about anything,” Pavini says. “For caramels, I use Irish butter because it’s fattier with less water. It gives a better taste in my opinion. For hard candy or gummies, I use a nice coconut oil.”
The easiest way to ensure a consistent dose is by paying attention to your measurements. With a ratio of one cup of oil and one cup (approximately seven grams) of cannabis, your total THC per infusion will be approximately 700 mg or 14.5 mg per teaspoon.
An experienced smoker should start at a 20 mg dose and work their way up, taking another dose about an hour later if needed. An inexperienced smoker should start at no more than five to 10 mg.
“It’s better to start low and slow with edibles so you don’t have too much the first time and have enough discomfort that you don’t want to try it again,” says Pavini.
It’s also important to remember different strains will deliver unique results. Want to conquer the world (or at least clean your entire apartment)? Try a sativa like Sour Diesel or Lemon Skunk. But if you’re looking to relax and binge out on Netflix, opt for indica strains like Bubba Kush or Granddaddy Purple.
Read also: Decarboxylation: Activating THC in Cannabis
Your home will fill with the smell of cannabis but it’s totally worth it. Here are a few very easy recipes to get you started with cannabis in the kitchen.
Honey Lemon Cannabis Oil Vinaigrette
A tablespoon of this Honey Lemon Cannabis Oil Vinaigrette will deliver a sweet and tangy trip that’s perfect on any salad.
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup cannabis-infused coconut oil heated just until liquid
- Add the honey, vinegar, lemon juice, zest, and salt to a medium bowl and mix until well combined.
- As you whisk, carefully pour in the olive oil, followed by the coconut oil until blended.
- Serve immediately or pour the dressing into a sealable container store in the refrigerator.
Crispy Caramel Potcorn
For a salty, crunchy snack, pack a bowl with this delicious homemade caramel potcorn.
- 8 cups of popcorn in a bowl big enough to allow stirring
- 2 ¼ cups of brown sugar
- 1 cup of budder
- 1 cup of light corn syrup
- Dash of sea salt
- 1 small can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, budder, and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly.
- Once a boil is reached, add condensed milk.
- Return the mixture to a boil and cook for approximately 12 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove the pan from the burner and stir in vanilla.
- Drizzle half of the caramel mixture over the popcorn, toss several times and then drizzle in the remaining caramel to toss.
- Spread the mixture on a well-oiled cookie sheet and bake at 250°F for 40 minutes.
- Remove the potcorn from the oven and spread on a greased sheet of aluminum foil until it is completely cool.
Golden Ganja Milk
- 2 cups unsweetened milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 tablespoon cannabis-infused coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Dash of nutmeg
- Dash of black pepper
- Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cook for about five minutes or until all the ingredients are combined to reveal a smooth consistency and golden-yellow color.
- Pour into a mug and garnish with cinnamon.