An expert on pot edibles shares recipes
Although inhalation is the most popular form of marijuana consumption, there is still fun to be had with sticky-icky in the kitchen.
We’ve reached out to Crystal, who teaches a monthly culinary cannabis class in Calgary, for edible insight.
VUE Weekly: Have you seen a rise in cooking with cannabis/edibles in recent years?
Crystal: Absolutely. More and more people that suffer from various ailments are turning to cannabis to find solace and relief.
I find that many people, especially on the medical focused side of the industry, like the idea of eating it more than inhaling it, and many would agree that it is certainly a healthier practice as well.
There is also a comfort to food. Everybody loves food. People that are suffering or are sick may not want to inhale smoke or vapour into their lungs. So, learning how to cook with it has become more and more popular, and I believe, will continue to do so.
VW: Is there a difference in the traditional ‘high’ of inhaling versus ingesting?
C: When you inhale cannabis, I find that you can also reach a plateau as far as feeling the effects as well. Once you feel the effects from inhaling, it generally does not increase significantly by inhaling more and more.
When you ingest it, it can take anywhere from a half hour to two hours to take effect. The effects can last anywhere from a few hours, to 24 hours or even more, again depending on the person and potency.
When ingested, it is often much more powerful than smoking it and you can increase the amount you consume and feel more effects. I always tell people to start small and increase gradually when trying for their first time, as it can be quite overwhelming if you take too much.
VW: On average, how much marijuana is needed to create oils and butters?
C: The recipes I teach at the 420 Clinic all call for an ounce of cannabis. However, you can absolutely alter them in order to make smaller batches.
The cooking processes are a bit time consuming, so the more you can do at a time, the less time you are spending making your edibles/medibles.
Downsizing the liquid oil recipe for instance, which is normally one ounce of cannabis and six cups of oil, you could reduce down to three to four grams of cannabis and three quarters of a cup of oil (olive, walnut, safflower, etc).
The butter recipe is one ounce of cannabis per one pound of butter. You could reduce down to three to four grams and a quarter cup of butter.
You can really alter most recipes by just equally decreasing your ingredients accordingly.
VW: What recipe would you recommend for a first-time cannabis chef?
C: Making some cannabis flour would certainly be a good way to start. I believe it to be the easiest without spending a lot of time on an oil or butter recipe.
Simply take however much cannabis you like and put it on a baking tray. Place in the oven (I prefer using my little counter top oven) at 240°F for one hour. Then grind it up into a powder and sprinkle or incorporate into your food.
Suggested dosage on average is a half gram. I find that is quite strong for most people (even myself some days) and highly suggest starting with a quarter gram or less to start with. If you follow this for a quarter gram dosage, for every gram you bake in the oven, it will yield four dosages or more. Remember to start small. Quarter gram might not seem like a lot. I remember thinking that about half grams and I was proven wrong. Wait at least two hours before taking more.
VW: Where do you see edibles/cannabis cooking in the upcoming years?
C: My biggest hope is to see all of the many forms of edibles/medibles available to people through licensed producers and dispensaries someday, 100 percent legally.
I think that once it is legalized, we will see edibles/medibles go absolutely crazy, as far as options go.
There have already been devices released to simplify certain methods, for instance, the Magic Butter Machine. Just put your stuff in the machine, and it does it all for you!
I imagine more and more devices will hit the market, offering to simplify your cooking.
I also imagine more “ready to bake” products that will be packaged and sold together, for instance, add one bottle of cannabis oil to this muffin mix etc.
VW: Is there a recipe you would recommend for the more advanced user/cannabis chef?
C: I absolutely love my glycerin recipe.
This recipe inspired me to try more types of gummies, candies and caramels. I have a huge sweet tooth, so using a cannabis extract for candy really makes me happy.
1 oz of cannabis—broken into small pieces but not finely ground
2 cups food grade glycerin (I use True Essence brand but you can find other brands at health food stores, make sure it says Food Grade)
1/2 a cup of water
Combine all ingredients into a double boiler or slow cooker. You want to simmer between 175-190°F for at least three hours, making sure the temperature stays steady between 175-190°F the whole time. Start timing when you reach the desired temperature.
Allow to cool until it can be handled. Strain in small batches, using a small fine mesh metal strainer or doubled cheesecloth. Squeeze all the glycerin you can from the saturated cannabis, then just discard or compost the cannabis after straining thoroughly. Store in glass jars with tight fitting lids (I use mason jars), in your refrigerator for up to six months.
When I incorporate cannabis into candy, I look for recipes that call for corn syrup. I will decrease the amount of corn syrup by approximately one third, and will substitute glycerin. You may have to play with particular recipes to make this work well, but it works great for many recipes, if you can get the ratio correct for substituting. My first batch of caramels were really soft when left out of the fridge. I didn’t mind the consistency, they were just messier to eat but truly delicious. My remedy was to dip them in chocolate to help them hold their shape. It was a win.
If the candy recipe calls for butter as well, great. I will often use a mixture of both sober butter and medicated butter in my candy as well. It’s a great way to increase potency of the candy.
Lee Butler & Crystal