Shop Now

The Basics of Cooking with Cannabis: Lessons for the Newbie Chef

It’s exciting to see all the varieties of edible cannabis products lining dispensary shelves around the country. You might just feel like a kid in a candy store. Delectable treats ranging from honey and syrup to coffees and teas to brownies, candies, rice crispy treats and more. It’s a delightful way to treat your body and your taste buds at the same time.

Harvest dispensaries carry the best of the best in cannabis edibles. But if you’re not lucky enough to live close to a Harvest, or you just don’t feel like leaving the house, you can enjoy edibles right from your own kitchen. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, break out your spatula and start cooking with medicinal cannabis, we’ve put together some tips to help you cook up some tasty concoctions of your own.

4 Tips to Help You Cook with Marijuana

If you’ve never cooked with medicinal marijuana before, there are a couple of things you need to know. 

1. Don’t Forget Decarboxylation

Cannabis flower and concentrates must undergo a process called decarboxylation in order to activate many of the healing and psychoactive properties. Decarboxylation is triggered by time and heat. But time only partially does the trick. Unless you happen to have a bag of buds that’s been around since the 60’s – and then, who knows?

In all seriousness, though, if you’re cooking with fresh or curated flower, or with cannabis concentrates (which we’ll talk about next week), read up a bit on decarboxylation!

 2. Consider Making Butter or Oil

Cannabinoids are fat soluble, meaning that fats and oils make them more readily available to your body. This doesn’t mean you must combine your medicine with butter or oil for it to work; but it does mean that those ingredients will help your body experience better results, faster.

You may notice that a lot of recipes call for cannabis oil or cannabis butter. This is why. Many people recommend coconut oil as the best carrier due to its high soluble fat content.

We went into detail all about this here!

3. Be Precise with Your Dosage

It’s easy to get carried away when eating edibles. Many people are conditioned to chow down a couple of cookies or a handful of candy. But doing this with edibles, or making edibles that are too strong, can easily lead to over-consumption. And too much of anything can have drawbacks.

Whether you’re baking up a batch of "pot brownies" or cooking up some pasta with a cannabis olive oil, you want to know exactly how many grams of THC are in each serving. Here’s a handy calculator that will help you determine the dosage per serving based on the percentage of cannabinoids in your medicine, the weight of the rest of your ingredients and the number of servings.

You can also consider picking up vials of concentrate. The labels clearly tell you the total milligrams of cannabinoids, making it super easy to control dosing.

4. Stock Up Your Kitchen

If you plan to make cooking with marijuana a regular thing, there are a few new tools and supplies you may want to consider adding to your kitchen cabinets.

  • Mini Crock-Pot – A Crock-Pot or other slow cooker can be great for making small batches of "cannabutter." Some people even use a slow cooker for their decarboxylation process.
  • Candy thermometer – If you decide to use the slow cooker method to decarb, you might want to pick up a candy thermometer. This will let you measure the exact temperature of your Crock-Pot creations. Remember, if the temp goes too high it will burn off the cannabinoids, wasting your medicine.
  • Silicone bakeware – Silicone bakeware is nice when you’re making muffins, breads and such. These make it easy to pop your goodies right out, so you don’t leave half of the ingredients behind.
  • Cheesecloth/coffee filters/tea bags – Some people prefer to strain the flower out of their recipes to avoid a grainy consistency in their food. This is easily accomplished by wrapping your flower up in cheesecloth, a tea bag, or even a coffee filter before adding it to your butter batch.

The Best Marijuana Recipes

Creating the perfect marijuana recipes may take some trial and error. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t knock it out of the park with your first batch of cookies. It may help to keep a cooking journal as you cook so you can document what works for you and what doesn’t. When you hit a home run, be sure to snap a picture and share it with us on Instagram @HarvestHOC

This information is for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES only, not for diagnosing or treating any medical condition

The Harvest House of Cannabis blog offers articles about cannabis for dispensary shoppers that visit our dispensaries.