Cooking with Cannabis
For many of us, preparing homemade edibles has involved the same process. A lot of us are unaware of the small mistakes we are making along the way. Yes, our edibles will do the job, but with this guide, you can improve the flavor and consistency and save yourself some time and money too.
After doing some research and understanding the basics of decarboxylation and infusion I began to see how many recipes and preparations had flaws. There isn’t by any means one right way to make good quality edibles. For a lot of people, it comes down to experimentation and trial and error. Take a look at my cooking tips and judge for yourself if it improves your next batch.
Mistake: Placing ground cannabis straight into slow-cooker.
Solution: Decarboxylate cannabis in your oven first.
This is one of the most common mistake first-time cannabis cooks tend to make. You must decarb your cannabis in the oven before cooking. If you skip this step and throw raw unactivated bud into your dish, it will not only taste bad but won’t allow the cannabinoids to be fully active. This means you have wasted your bud (and your time) and won’t feel much of anything.
For those of you that were unaware of this process, it’s important to make a note now. If you are super lazy you can skip the oven and decarb your cannabis in the slow cooker oil. However, this longer oil soak will worsen the taste of your cannabis oil. It’s also a lot easier to control the oven temperature compared to a slow cooker and so you won’t risk burning off cannabinoids.
Mistake: Spending too much cash on bud for edibles.
Solution: A little goes a LONG way!
I have seen many times people attempting to making edibles and throwing in excess of 20 grams of bud in a slow cooker to make a cup of butter. This seems the norm for some people but rather remember this ratio instead:
- 1:1 This means 1 cup of oil to 1 cup of ground cannabis (about 8-10 grams).
The lipids in the oil can only bind to a certain amount of cannabinoids, so by adding too much bud to oil you are simply wasting product.
Buying less bud is one way of saving some cash but you can also do this by creating infusions using stems, trim or even bud that was previously vaped.
Mistake: Decarbing and heating at the wrong temperatures
Solution: Knowing how long to and how hot to heat your bud and cannabutter.
Not only is decarbing your cannabis before cooking extremely important but so is doing this process at the correct temperature. You can achieve this by setting the oven to the right temperature, leaving your cannabis for the right amount of time and mixing it to get the most surface area.
In most cases you want to:
- Heat oven to 120 degrees Celsius.
- Cook bud for 30-40 mins.
- Mix cannabis every 10 mins.
If you are in a hurry then you can set the oven to 150 degrees Celsius, cook for 15-18 mins and stir every 5 mins. But as with most things, slow is pro. When you place your ready cannabis into the slow cooker, try to keep a temperature of 70-95 degrees Celsius (usually low to medium on slow cooker). Be sure to use a thermometer just to be safe and leave to cook for about 3 hours with the lid off.
Mistake: Grinding cannabis into a powder.
Solution: Use a hand cannabis grinder for a more coarse grind.
If you have ever had an edible that had a strong grassy taste than it is probably because the cannabis was too fine. By using a blender or coffee grinder until your cannabis is powder will:
- Cause your oil or butter to look green (looks good but tastes bad).
- Introduce chlorophyll to your oil, leading to a strong plant/grassy taste.
- Make it almost impossible to strain unwanted plant material.
Once your cannabis is decarbed in the oven then you must grind it with a hand grinder. Cannabinoids bind to the oils fats and so a coarse grind will allow them to be effectively absorbed without unwanted plant material.
Mistake: Straining the oil incorrectly.
Solution: Use a cheesecloth to strain and let gravity do the rest.
After you have infused your oil then come the time to strain out the unwanted plant material. Cheesecloth is the best as it will allow the oil to pass through while separating out the ground plant material. Let gravity do the work, don’t squeeze the last remaining oil out as this will also push some plant matter through.
Mistake: Using too little or too much oil in your edibles.
Solution: Test you oils potency before using it in a dish.
Eating homemade edibles don’t need to be a hit and miss thing. You can simply run a test on your oil beforehand to check how much you need to incorporate into an edible. Take a ½ teaspoon of your oil as a personal dose by adding it to some food or a drink. Wait about 45 mins to an hour and see how you feel. By doing this it will help you determine how much oil is needed in a single dose or edible. Once you have determined how much oil is needed for the effects you want then simply multiply this by the number of servings you are making in a shared batch (cake, pizza etc.). An alternative if it’s for a personal edible is to simply spoon a dose onto your dish (like a bowl of pasta or slice of toast).
Mistake: Uneven distribution of potency.
Solution: Stir REALLY REALLY well.
Most of us know this feeling. You make a real potent batch of cannabutter for your brownies, have half and feel like you own the moon. You then brag and give your mate one, he eats the entire thing and gives you a disappointed look. What’s going on?
This happens often as you probably didn’t stir the batter well enough. If making a batch of infused edibles, be sure to stir like your life depended on it. This will make sure that the oil is properly distributed across the batch. The perfect dosage is in each individual serving.
If you have aspired to create your own perfectly infused cannabis dishes be sure to follow my guide. When it comes to cooking with cannabis, there is always more to learn.
Written by MCSB Team, Aug 2018
~ Medical Cannabis Seed Bank