Cooking with Weed

Marijuana Cooking Guide

Cooking with marijuana remains a favorite method of consumption among cannabis enthusiasts. From casual smokers to long-time aficionados and medical marijuana patients, everyone who embraces cannabis enjoys infusing it into favorite foods, treats, and drinks.

Why do so many cannabis users enjoy cooking with marijuana?

  • It’s an alternative to smoking or inhaling
  • It can be more discreet than smoking
  • It can be an economical and efficient way to enjoy marijuana – a little bit of weed can go a long way in edibles
  • It produces a different high
    • It can be more intense
    • Many users report feeling a stronger body high
  • They like experimenting in order to create tastier, more complex, more innovative marijuana foods and drinks
  • They like the taste cannabis adds to foods and drinks
  • It is an easily portable method of consumption

Read on to learn the basics of cooking with marijuana, and to explore some of our favorite recipes.

Want to enjoy marijuana-infused foods and drinks without having to make them yourself? See our Edibles Product Guide to learn more about the snacks and treats you can buy at your local retail store or dispensary.

Cooking with Marijuana: The Basics

Heating Cannabis: Decarboxylation

Decarbing: What It Is and Why You Do It

Before cooking with marijuana, it’s important that chefs decarboxylate their weed.

The process of decarboxylation, or decarbing as its known, “activates” your cannabis and makes it psychoactive (i.e. gets you high). Raw cannabis is not psychoactive until the THCA in it is exposed to high temperatures. This causes the carboxylic group in the THCA to dissipate through water vapor and carbon dioxide, converting it to THC which is the psychoactive component in cannabis.

Because simply adding marijuana to foods before cooking them in the oven or on the stove may not result in the cannabis reaching temperatures high enough to convert THCA to THC, it is recommended that cannabis chefs always decarb their marijuana before cooking with it (even when making simple marijuana butter or oils).

Decarbing for Dummies

There are several methods for decarbing weed in all its many forms (kief/hash, cannabis oil, etc.), but because bud is the most common form, here’s a basic method for decarbing bud.

1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

2. While the oven is preheating, grind your cannabis as finely as you can.

3. Spread the ground cannabis evenly across a sheet pan or cookie sheet.

4. Cover the pan loosely with foil, but seal at the edges.

5. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Allow less time for older, drier cannabis, and more time for fresher, stickier greens.

6. Decarbing can create a unique odor so be sure to turn the stove fan on and/or crack a window while baking.

7. Remove from the oven and let cool before removing foil.

Making Weed Butter

The most common way to incorporate marijuana into baked goods or cooked foods is by first making weed butter, often known as cannabutter, or bud butter. Cannabutter is easy to make, tastes delicious (and not overwhelmingly like marijuana, if prepared correctly), and can be used in place of dairy butter in any recipe.

A Basic Weed Butter Recipe

What You Need:

  • 1 lb unsalted butter
  • 1 to 4 cups water (see step 1 below)
  • 1 ounce ground, decarboxylated cannabis
  • Cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer

1. Add 1 to 4 cups of water to a small boiler or sauce pan (once you add the butter in step #2, you want to have 1-2 inches of water on the bottom so the butter is slightly floating). Bring water to a boil.

2. When the water is boiling, add 1 lb of butter and allow it to melt completely.

3. Once the butter is melted, add your cannabis. Turn the heat down low, to a slow simmer.

4. Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. It will be done when its appearance is thick and shiny rather than watery.

5. Cover a bowl (preferably glass, and heat- and refrigerator-safe) with a cheese cloth or place a fine mesh strainer over it. Then pour the mixture from the pot into the bowl through the cheese cloth or strainer. Squeeze out all the leftover plant material to get as much liquid as possible into the bowl. You can then throw away the leftover plant material.

6. Allow to cool for about an hour.

At this stage, some people add the cannabutter to their recipes right away, but we recommend a couple extra steps to get the purest cannabutter possible.

7. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight, or until it’s solid.

8. Take a butter knife and lift the butter upside-down onto a plate. Use the knife to scrape off any excess cooking water or leftover plant material. Now your bud butter is ready to use.

This recipe is a very basic one for making cannabutter. Experiment to find just the right ratio of water, butter, and bud, and try other methods of heating the butter before adding the cannabis (some canna-chefs have found success using crock pots or other slow-cookers).

Other Marijuana Infusion Methods

Below are some infusion methods for additional key ingredients that once prepared, can be used in a wide variety of recipes.

Milk

What You Need:

  • 1 cup of milk – whole milk for cooking, or 2% for enjoying on its own
  • 1⁄8 (3.5 ounces) finely ground, decarboxylated cannabis
  • Cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer

1. Put milk in a boiler or small pot and heat until it is simmering.

2. Lower the heat and slowly stir in the cannabis.

3. Allow to simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

5. Strain the milk through a cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer.

6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Be sure to use before the sell date on the milk used.

Cream

What You Need:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1⁄8 (3.5) ounces finely ground, decarboxylated cannabis
  • Cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer

Follow the same steps above for milk to make cannabis-infused cream.

Cooking Oil

What You Need:

  • 6 cups cooking oil (a fatty kind like olive or coconut oil is best)
  • 1 ounce finely ground, decarboxylated cannabis
  • Metal strainer

1. In a saucepan, slowly heat oil on low heat.

2. Add finely ground cannabis a few teaspoons at a time to the oil, stirring to fully coat the cannabis with oil before adding more.

3. Once you’ve added all the cannabis and mixed it well with the oil, simmer on low for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

4. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

5. Once cool, pour the oil through the metal strainer to remove the cannabis and into an airtight container. (Tip – use the back of a spoon to press all the oil from the cannabis in the strainer).

6. Store the oil in your refrigerator in an airtight container.

Flour

What You Need:

  • 1 ounce cannabis
  • A blender
  • A coffee grinder or food processor
  • A flour sifter

1. Use either cannabis bud or dry cannabis leave if you’re able to nab some from a grow house after a trim session. Pick out all stems and seeds.

2. Chop the cannabis in a blender using the finest setting.

3. Place the chopped cannabis into a coffee grinder or food processor and grind it to get as close to a powder consistency as possible.

4. Using the flour sifter, sift the cannabis powder into a bowl, then return it to the grinder and grind again. Repeat sifting and grinding until all stems, seeds, or other leftover materials are removed and you’re left with nothing but cannabis powder.

5. In any recipe that includes flour, replace half the amount called for with your cannaflour (for example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, use 1/2 cup cannaflour, and 1/2 cup regular flour).

The Effects of Eating Weed Foods

The effects of eating cannabis-infused foods are entirely different than those resulting from smoking it.  Be sure to understand the effects before eating cannabis foods.

  • The effects will be delayed – it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours for the effects of eating pot to kick in.
    • Because of this, many inexperienced users eat more than they need and may feel overwhelmed by the effects. If this happens, try following our advice.
    • To avoid consuming too much cannabis, see our portion guide.
  • The high may be stronger
    • Especially a body high many users feel
  • The high may last longer than the one achieved from smoking, and may be stronger for a longer period of time
  • Eating weed affects everyone differently, from how long it takes for effects to kick in to how high someone feels after eating a certain amount of weed. Always:
    • Take it slow
    • Err on the side of caution
    • Do what’s right for your body

To learn more about the effects of eating marijuana, especially compared to smoking pot, watch this helpful video from Americans for Safe Access.

How Much Weed to Eat

Unfortunately, there are no universal guidelines for how much cannabis-infused food to eat. Recommended quantities will vary by:

  • How much cannabis was used in the food
  • The strain and the strength of the cannabis used
  • How evenly the cannabis was spread through the food before cooking
  • How cannabis typically affects the person ingesting it, and
  • What a person’s individual tolerance is for cannabis

It’s much easier to determine a proper serving with edibles bought at retail stores or dispensaries since most edibles are packaged as a single serving (5-10 mg of THC). We recommend that first-time users of edibles eat half the serving, wait an hour, and then consume more if desired.

For homemade goods, however, it is much more difficult to estimate what a reasonable portion would be.

  • Typically, eat half of what you believe to be a serving (half a cookie, or half a small brownie square, for example).
  • Always err on the side of caution.
  • If you’re not feeling the effects after an hour, try eating a little bit more.
What If It’s Too Strong for Me?

Eating marijuana affects everyone differently which means some users may have uncomfortable experiences after ingesting a dosage higher than what they’d like. This is a common occurrence for both inexperienced and long-time cannabis users.

When you’ve ingested too much, the best thing to do is wait it out. Make yourself comfortable, and reassure yourself that you’ll be feeling back to normal soon. Or, you can try some of these common remedies that may help diminish the effects of eating too much weed.

  • Get comfortable, and do something to distract yourself – watch a movie or a favorite television show, or listen to music
  • Call someone who can talk you through what you’re feeling and who can offer reassurance
  • Eat and drink something else particularly if you’ve ingested weed on an empty stomach. Cannabis edibles on an empty stomach can result in a higher rate of absorption, so putting something else in your stomach may help counter the effects.
  • Though not proven, some users believe the following foods help more than others:
    • Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits or juices containing them
    • Pistachios or pine nuts
    • Comforting sweets (like cookies) along with milk
  • Above all, remember that the effects are going to wear off after a few hours
Best Practices for Cooking with Marijuana
  • Use fresh weed for the best taste and effects. Old, dry weed can be just as potent, but may affect the taste of food
  • Start small – cook in small batches so you can measure ingredients carefully, get just the right ratios, and determine the best infusion approach
  • Track what you do so you can replicate and share. Write down recipes, note the kind of marijuana used and how much, and, once you’ve found the right recipe, tell your friends
  • ALWAYS label your “special” goods and store them in a place where children will not find them
  • Also mark the “born-on” dates for anything you make. Be sure to consume them before they become stale or go bad, particularly if milk or other products with expiration dates are used
  • If you’re having trouble achieving consistency, buy edibles from a retail store or dispensary for a more reliable and predictable experience

Our Favorite Marijuana Recipes

Some of our favorite pot recipes are noted below, but for more, be sure to see our Edibles Guide. Or, if you don’t feel like making your own, learn more about what weed edibles you can pick up from your local recreational store or dispensary.

Caution: these recipes are delicious, but potent. Resist the temptation to overindulge – eat a small amount and wait a while to know how these edibles will affect you. Also, when eating weed food, be sure to use our Best Practices for Cooking with Marijuana, and if you should overdo it, follow our suggestions to get through it.

Meals

Cannabis Chicken Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

By: Bloom Well

Chicken noodle soup is a great beginning to any medicated meal (or can be a delicious stand-alone); begin by cooking vegetables in cannabutter and adding some finely ground cannabis to the broth.

Cannabis Infused Apple Parmesan Risotto

Cannabis Infused Apple Parmesan Risotto

By: Cannabis Cheri

Cannabutter takes this pasta to a whole different level. Meat lovers can add sausage, or vegetarians can remove pancetta or bacon from the recipe.

Ganja Jerk Chicken

Ganja Jerk Chicken

By: David Minsky

A super-easy but delicious recipe that will impress your friends, this ganja jerk chicken (using hash oil or THC honey) is perfect for an outdoor barbeque.

Canna-Oil Marinated Veggies

Grilled Canna-Veggies

By: Curv Vapor

Some cannabis-infused foods can actually be healthy! These grilled veggies are a perfect (and potent) side dish in any medicated meal.

Mini Cannabis Pizzas

Marijuana Pizza

By: Danielle Guercio

Many cannabis users crave pizza post-marijuana consumption. So, why not combine the two and make marijuana pizza? Use your favorite dough and toppings along with pot pizza sauce.

Mashed Pot-tatoes

Mashed Pot-tatoes

By: Cannabis Search

Medicated mashed potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to most any main course. Make them extra “special” by adding your favorite toppings, such as cheese, sour cream, or bacon.

Sweets

To explore other recipes for brownies, cookies, caramels, gummies, and other sweets and treats, see our Marijuana Edibles Guide.

Weed Ice Cream

Weed Ice Cream

By: Katy Peetz

This recipe from pastry chef Katy Peetz requires an ice cream maker, but if you don’t have one at home, you can enjoy the weed cream on its own or in other treats.

Cannabis-Infused Espresso Gelato

Cannabis-Infused Espresso Gelato

By: Cannabis Cheri

Infused with real coffee beans, as well as hash or kief, this decadent dessert comes with a kick. If you have a sweet tooth, drizzle chocolate sauce on top.

Vegan Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Vegan Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

By: Cassidy Wolfe

This “dairy-free, cruelty-free and totally vegan friendly” ice cream will please (and elevate) vegans and non-vegans alike.

Chocolate Covered Cannabis Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Cannabis Strawberries

By: Simi

After stirring cannabis into white and dark chocolate, use it on whatever you like – strawberries, cherries, pretzels, or drizzled over ice cream.

Marijuana Apple Pie

Pot Apple Pie

By: Johnny Green

A cannabutter-based crust makes this All-American dessert a perfect addition to any celebration on the path toward ending Prohibition.

Dips and Spreads

Hummus, Enhanced

Hummus, Enhanced

By: Laurie Wolf

Decarbed weed gives this worldly dip an extra kick. Enjoy with pita bread, carrot or celery sticks, or crackers.

Infused Spinach Artichoke Dip

Infused Spinach Artichoke Dip

By: Edibles Magazine

This warm, cheesy dip will be a hit at any pot party. Serve with your favorite chips, crackers, or pita bread.

Marijuana Cheese Ball

Marijuana Cheese Ball

By: Hemp Beach TV

Make the ultimate spread for your crackers by following this recipe. Even without the weed, it’d still be decadent – one pound of bacon goes into this pecan-coated cheese ball.

Moroccan Majoun

Moroccan Majoun

By: Aliza Green

Majoun is a traditional Moroccan spread made with raisins, walnuts, cannabis, and other ingredients. Spread it on crackers, or use as a filling for stuffed cookies.

Nacho Cheese with Marijuana

Nacho Cheese with Marijuana

By: Stoner Days

Spice up this cheddar cheese sauce with jalapenos, or add diced tomatoes to make it a little heartier.

Snacks and Munchies

For more snacks and munchies, see our Marijuana Edibles Guide.

BBQ Cannabis Nachos

BBQ Cannabis Nachos

By: Cass

This bar food staple gets a medicated twist by using cannabis-infused BBQ sauce.

Blazin’ Buffalo Weed Wings

hot-wings

By: ThisBuds4You

A cannabutter sauce elevates this awesome game day snack to a whole new level. The recipe calls for wings to be roasted, but you can also fry them.

Medicated Jalapeno Poppers

Medicated Jalapeno Poppers

By: THCFinder

These spicy edibles will get you blazed, and set your mouth on fire. Dairy is good for washing down (and cooling down) spicy foods – might we suggest some cannamilk?

Frostings

Chocolate Marijuana Frosting

Chocolate Marijuana Frosting

By: Johnny Green

Medicate any baked good with this infused frosting, eat it by the spoonful, or add it to your already-”special” brownies, cookies, and other baked goods.

Cannabis Buttercream Frosting

Cannabis Buttercream Frosting

By: The Weed Scene

For the opposite end of the flavor spectrum, try this easy recipe using heavy cream and vanilla extract.

Cannabis Decorator’s Icing

Cannabis Decorator’s Icing

By: Weed Chefs

Create an easy icing to fill piping bags and decorate any canna-cake, canna-cookies, special brownies, or other “baked” good.

Bread

ABV Banana Bread

ABV Banana Bread

By: Gradi Jordan

Here’s a great use of your leftovers: infuse ABV (already been vaped) weed into coconut oil to make this flavorful but low sugar banana bread.

Cannabis Bread

Cannabis Bread

By: Johnny Green

This dough can be used for bread or an infused pizza crust.

Canna-infused Zucchini Bread (gluten free)

Canna-infused Zucchini Bread

By: Julie Dooley

Gourmet edible chef Julie Dooley shared this recipe for gluten-free zucchini bread with the Denver Post.

Drinks

For more drink recipes, see our Edibles Guide.

Brad’s Bella Belma Marijuana Pale Ale

Brad’s Bella Belma Marijuana Pale Ale

By: Brad

Interview – http://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/how-to-make-pot-infused-beer-thrillist-nation;

Recipe – http://assets3.thrillist.com/v1/image/1171475

For experienced homebrewers eager to combine two pastimes (brewing and weed), this step-by-step cannabeer recipe illustrates how to do it.

Cannabis Coffee

Cannabis Coffee

By: Zamnesia

Wake up with this elevated coffee recipe that “adds a stoney spin without actually making you tired”.

Ganja Goucho

Ganja Goucho

By: Michael Cecconi

Class up any pot party with this craft cocktail that uses yerba mate for a caffeinated kick. The recipe calls for cachaca, a South American spirit, but infused vodka can be substituted.

Pot Cocoa

Pot Cocoa

By: The Weed Scene

Pot cocoa is – you guessed it – hot chocolate with weed in it by way of cannabis-infused coconut oil. A great adult treat for a cold day.