Eating And Cooking With Marijuana
While Cannabis sativa is native across the globe in one species or another, not every culture—or individual, for that matter—prefers smoking as the delivery vehicle for getting desired components of the herb into your body. For some people, the best way to get the effects that marijuana can provide is to ingest it and let the digestive system absorb it as it passes through the intestinal tract.
A buzz induced by eating marijuana is slower coming on, taking thirty minutes to an hour to become noticeable, but the effect lasts longer, sometimes all day. A downside is that it takes about three times as much marijuana taken orally to achieve the same, quick effect obtained by smoking a joint. Advantages of eating pot instead of smoking it include not hurting your respiratory tract and soothing an upset stomach, making it possible for chemotherapy and other patients whose treatments induce nausea to eat without vomiting.
General Notes on Preparing Marijuana
Obtaining maximum potency from the pot you cook with depends on how well it is absorbed into the bloodstreams and brains of those who eat it. Plant cellulose, often lumped under the blanket term “fiber” by dieticians, is hard to digest-that’s why it works to scrub out a person’s colon. It follows, then, that a plant as rough as cannabis will be hard to digest, and the less it is broken down and absorbed, the lower the percentage of THC that will be absorbed from it.
Low heat releases THC from within a plant’s fibers, making it more accessible to our bodies, but maximum potency can be achieved by making plants more digestible. For me, the simplest solution is one that had been used by American Indian tribes for thousands of years, but was only verified by modern science in 1996: A teaspoonful of wood ashes added per gallon of whatever mixture is to be cooked works to break down complex proteins, converting them to usable amino acids that are more easily metabolized. Wood ashes by themselves have a salty, slightly biting taste because of their mildly caustic nature, but become tasteless when cooked into a recipe.
Cannabis butter is a delicacy of gourmet weed smokers who like to have the option of eating their way to a usually gentle, long-lasting buzz. Sautéeing marijuana in butter is said by some to enhance THC absorbed from the marijuana, although it seems more likely that the heat applied activates THC crystals in the plant’s outer trichomes—much the same as it does when preparing black hash. Whether that’s true or not, cannabis butter is a great ingredient for making cooking cookies or, especially, brownies whose dry ingredients already include powdered marijuana.
Begin with a small saucepan over your stove’s lowest burner setting-better to take too long than to ruin your work by burning it past edibility. Add one quart of water and bring it to a rolling boil.
Melt two sticks of butter (220 grams) into the boiling water, stirring constantly.
When the butter has melted and is blended well, add a quarter-ounce (about 7 grams) of finely chopped, cleaned, and seedless marijuana; leaves are fine, as are finely chopped leaf stems, but buds make the most potent product, of course. Some weed gourmets prefer to make cannabutter with green, fresh-picked marijuana, because the juices in its tissues transfer more readily into the butter.
Stir the marijuana into the gently boiling butter-and-water mixture, then cover and let simmer on low heat for forty-five minutes, stirring frequently. After forty- five minutes, remove the pot from heat and let cool for six hours, stirring every thirty minutes.
After six hours, reheat the mixture to liquid consistency and separate the marijuana by pouring it through a wire strainer held over a bowl. Refrigerate the bowl for one hour-until the butter has hardened across the top of the bowl-and pour off the liquid again; what remains is cannabis butter.
Cannabis butter may be spread onto toast, pastries, or hotcakes, or it can be used to satisfy the requirement for butter in recipes. You can also use the leftover marijuana from this operation as an ingredient in other recipes.
Cannabis Brownies (from scratch)
8 l-ounce squares of unsweetened chocolate
1 cup cannabutter
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Then mix dry ingredients first to ensure that they are blended thoroughly. Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla at high speed until smoothly blended. Melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Blend in molten chocolate, flour, and salt. Mix well until just mixed.
Pour batter into lightly greased (nonstick spray is fine prepared pan, and bake for thirty-five minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the brownie comes out clean, with no wet batter on it. Cool and frost, if desired.
Cannabis Brownies (from mix)
l box of brownie mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or whatever is required by box instructions)
2 eggs (or whatever amount of eggs required on your box)
1 ounce of dried cannabis leaves, finely ground in a coffee grinder
l cup chopped walnuts (optional)
With a large skillet preheated over low heat, pour the oil required by the brownie mix into the pan. Heat the oil on low heat, for five minutes, then mix in powdered marijuana. Stir constantly for five minutes, until the mixture emits a pleasant, almost nutty, aroma, then remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool. Be careful to not let the mixture overheat, or the oil may become unpalatable; do not allow oil to get hot enough to smoke, and remove the skillet from heat immediately if it does begin to smoke.
At this stage there is an argument among pot-brownie bakers over whether the cannabis-oil mixture should be strained to remove larger participates from the oil. “Strainers” maintain that heating in oil extracts all of the pot’s THC, rendering the (ant matter into “nothing more than grass,” to quote one expert. Nonstrainers argue that sautéed marijuana is still marijuana and helps to enhance the effects of brownies in which it is included. I’m of the opinion that if the marijuana has been powdered in a coffee grinder, it can be left in the oil; it’s tough to strain it out anyway, it will digest better because it is already so finely broken up, and except for a pleasant spicy taste you won’t even notice its presence.
When the cannabis oil has cooled, stir all ingredients together in a mixing bowl until the contents take on a thick but smooth and creamy texture. Add nuts, raisins, or dried cranberries if desired.
Pour the mixture into a greased 9-inch cake pan (larger if you want thinner brownies), and bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for about thirty minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the pan’s center comes out dry.
Sesame skillet marijuana Cookies
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 ounce seedless, stemless, finely chopped cannabis
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Set aside. Place skillet over low flame and grease with 1 tablespoon of salted butter. Add batter, cover skillet and cook over low heat for five minutes, or until center is dry. Remove cooked cake mixture from the skillet and allow to cool. When cool, cut the cake into strips and roll them in sesame seeds.
1 cup powdered marijuana, leaves or buds
1 cup Jiffy or Bisquick baking mix
1 1/4 cups whole or skim milk
4 tablespoons cooking oil
Gently sautée marijuana and oil in a small skillet over low heat to “activate” the THC, adding more oil if the mixture is too dry. Stir constantly until a pleasant nutlike smell emanates from the mix, but be careful not to burn it.
Add the sautéed marijuana and oil to the other ingredients and blend the mixture until smooth and creamy. The proper consistency should run from a ladle slowly but steadily, like a very thick paint. Place one ladleful in the center of a large preheated and greased skillet over medium heat. When holes begin to appear at the outer edges, gently loosen them around their perimeter with a spatula. When holes begin to form near the flapjack’s center, slide the spatula under the pancake’s center and flip it. After thirty seconds on that side, the flapjack is ready to eat.
4 cups granulated sugar
l cup cannabutter
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
A candy thermometer
2 5-ounce cans evaporated milk
l 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
l teaspoon vanilla extract
A 10×12-inch cake pan
Combine sugar, milk, and cannabutter in a large ( 1 gallon) covered cooking pot. Cook at medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Keep stir- ring constantly-it’s critical that you don’t burn it-for about ten minutes, or until the temperature on the thermometer reaches 236 degrees F (about 20 degrees hotter than boiling).
Remove the boiling pot from the heat. Stir in chocolate chips, vanilla, and marshmallow creme. (It helps to microwave the opened jar of marshmallow creme for about twenty seconds to soften it and make it come out of the jar easier-watch it, though, because the sticky stuff can quickly overflow.) Stir until thoroughly blended, and pour into the greased cake pan. Makes about forty 2-inch squares, each of which should get an average person high.
1 stainless-steel tea ball with screw-on cap and hanging chain
1/8 ounce of finely chopped (not powdered) stems and leaves, green or cured.
Fill the tea ball with chopped cannabis and screw its cap into place. Green cannabis has a “fresher” taste than cured pot, because of the chlorophyll in its tissues. Do not pack the cannabis into the tea ball, but allow enough looseness for water to circulate completely through the chopped pieces.
Place the filled tea ball into a mug filled with boiling water, and let the marijuana steep into the water for at least fifteen minutes, dunking the tea ball up and down occasionally to flush juices from the plant material into the water. Remove the tea ball and reheat the mug in a microwave. Flavor the tea with lemon, creamer, sugar, or just drink it plain.
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