There's no shortage of manufacturers creating medical marijuana edibles, but sometimes the best medicated food comes out of your own kitchen. To help get you cooking, I've compiled some basic formulas for making infused oil, butter and tinctures, and also collected a few recipes from people in the local cannabis community. The recipes are for making small batches too, so you don't have to use a lot of herb to get started.
With all of the methods, dosing isn't exact and more of a general recommendation. Finding your own comfort zone with edibles takes time and it is best to start out with light doses and small quantities and build up over time.
A quick note on where to find trim to cook with: If you've got a caregiver, ask them if they have any laying around you can use or if they can save you some on the next harvest. You can also purchase shake and trim at some dispensaries for around $50 an ounce.
Infusing butter For this method - one I adapted from recipes passed on through ganja-friendly kitchens and friends - you'll need a mesh strainer, a colander, cheesecloth, a quarter stick of butter and a pot in which to boil water. The rule of (sticky green) thumb is a quarter ounce of herb for every quarter stick of butter. You can add more or less herb depending on your tolerance, or just thin out the ganja butter with regular butter when cooking.
Bring the water to a low boil and add the stick of butter. Return the mixture to a low boil, then add in the pre-ground ganja and allow to simmer, stirring regularly. (Yes, it's a drawn-out process, but it's important not to let the butter burn.) After an hour, remove the mixture from the heat and pour it through a metal strainer into a large bowl, removing the herb. Put the bowl in your fridge to chill, so that the butter floats to the top and solidifies in one large mass. After a few hours, remove the now-solid ganja butter from the water put the it in the cheesecloth to squeeze out the remaining water.
Made like this, one stick can be enough medication for up to a dozen people, depending on tolerance.
Infused Oil Grind three to six grams of any strain of your choosing down to shake and set aside. On medium-low heat, bring four ounces of cooking oil to temperature in a small nonstick pan being careful to not go over 200 degrees. (Regular vegetable oil works best for all-round cooking, but you can infuse any oils you want this way, including olive oil for salad dressings.)
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Test the oil by throwing in a small chunk of leaves; when it begins to bubble and sizzle like french fries, you're ready to go. Drop in the shake and cook on low for about 45 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool, then strain the oil from the fried ganja through a mesh colander or reusable coffee filter. What you're left with is uber-potent oil good for eight-to-twelve individual doses - or use it all at once in something large, such as a cake or sheet of brownies.
Non-alcohol glycerin tincture The formula to remember is one gram of herb for one ounce of glycerin. Infusing it takes time: You either have to steep the herb and glycerin in a slow cooker overnight, or let it infuse at room temperature for about a month and a half, then cook it for about an hour at 200 degrees. Either way activates the THC, and after you strain the mix, the tincture is super-potent. It's a perfect way to medicate stealthily -- either with a few drops on its own or mixed in a fruit drink.
Now that you've got the basics, below are a few ganja-infused sweets and treats recipes from folks around the Colorado cannabis community to try out:
Will Breathes' Non-Alcoholic Coconut Cannabis Mojito I realize that this recipe isn't really a ganja-specific recpe, considering you can add cannabis tincture to anything - but the sweetness of the glycerin mixes beautifully with the sugary nature of the traditionally rum-based drink. Any cannabis taste from the tincture is masked by the potency of the mint. An added bonus for medical marijuana patients with stomach issues: Mint is naturally good for digestion.
Ingredients - Ice - 12 large mint leaves - 2 ounces of unsweetened coconut water. - Tonic water - 1 tablespoon brown sugar - 1/2 tablespoon white sugar - 1/2 lime - Glycerin cannabis tincture
Muddle mint leaves and ¼ slice of lime in the bottom of a sturdy glass, add rest of the lime and sugar. Fill with ice to the top, then add coconut water and an appropriate dosage of tincture. Top with tonic water, stir and medicate.
ColoradoMidnightRider's Medicated Hard Candy Activist Tim Tipton shared his favorite recipe for a hard candy that's potent and easy to customize using any flavors you can find.
Ingredients - 2 cups sugar - 3/4 cup water - 2/3 cup corn syrup - 1 1/2 teaspoons candy flavoring (available at specialty baking/cake shops) - 4 grams top-shelf kief or 3 1/2 grams standard kief.
Tools - Candy thermometer - Measuring cups and spoons - Candy molds (for very hot liquid) - Metal spoons and metal spatula
Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a quart-sized heavy pan. Insert a candy thermometer on the side of the pan (be careful not to touch the thermometer to the bottom of pan). Stir on low-to-medium heat. At around 200 degrees, the mix should start to slowly boil and you can stop stirring. Allow the mixture to come right to 295 degrees, then take the pan from the heat and cool to 290 degrees. Working fast, thoroughly stir in flavoring, then add kief and stir until incorporated. Pour into molds that have been lightly sprayed with a non-stick agent and allow to cool.
Page down for more recipes. Vegan Solvent-less Hash Chews Recipe Hash master Selecta Nikka T of Essential Extracts passed this recipe along.
Ingredients: - 1/6 cup coconut oil - 1/2 cup raw cacao powde - 3 cups powdered sugar - 1 tsp raw vanilla extract - 3/4 cup brown rice cyrup - 3/4 cup soy milk powder - 8 grams cooking grade, solvent-less hash or substitute
Because this recipe requires no baking, you have to heat the hash to activate the THC so that your body processes it correctly. Sieve your hash into a fine granular powder, and place it in a thin, even layer on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Heat between 175 degrees and 225 degrees for between 15 and 25 minutes. Different grades of hash burn at different temperatures, so make sure it doesn't burn.
Once the hash is cooled, mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand, kneading as you would bread dough. The mix starts out powdery and becomes sticky and dark with time. Add small amounts of brown rice syrup and/or Earth Balance as needed to obtain the desired consistency. Roll into tubes and slice with a knife into bite-sized rolls. Wrap in parchment paper to save for later.
Gluten-free Medicated Apple Crisp Twirling Hippy Confections owner Jessica LeRoux sent us this recipe, which she promises is "easy to make, super tasty, and you can control your dosages by adjusting the butter content." You can also make this well in advance and put it in the oven about an hour before you want to serve it.
Ingredients - 6-8 medium-to-large apples (use any kind you have, but a mix is nice; Granny Smith and Braeburn are my favorites) - 1/3 cup white cane sugar - 1/3 cup brown sugar - 1 1/2 ounces pecans, rough diced - 1 1/2 ounces slivered almonds - 2/3 cup certified gluten-free oats. - 2 ounces of cannabis-infused butter or medicated coconut oil if you want to go vegan - 1 teaspoon nutmeg - 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided - Whipped cream and ice cream are optional (but delicious) additions.
Preheat the oven to 375 and set your butter out in a medium-sized mixing bowl to come to room temperature while you work on cutting your (peeled, or not) apples into quarters and then core them. Slice the apple quarters into approximately 1/4 inch-thick slices. Dump the apple slices into a round, two-quart baking dish, add the white sugar and one teaspoon of the cinnamon, and toss thoroughly. Leave in a level layer in the dish.
In the bowl with the butter, blend the brown sugar, nutmeg and remaining cinnamon until creamy. Add the pecans, almonds and oats, and cover completely with the butter/sugar mix. Evenly spread the oat mixture over the top of the apples. Put uncovered into a preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes depending on your altitude. The higher you live, the longer you will need to bake this -- but don't open the oven and check your wonderful creation more than three times during the baking process.
When finished, let the crisp cool for 15 minutes, then serve it up with whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 4-6 people, depending on your willpower and tolerance.
Gluten-free Ganja Cranberry Breakfast Muffins Julie Dooley of Julie and Kate Baked Goods sent us this recipe for gluten-free ganja breakfast muffins for a delicious wake-and-bake morning. Julie and Kate also make pre-made ganja butter that sells for about $20 for an 8-teaspoon jar for those times you can't make it at home.
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Ingredients - 1 1/2 cup of gluten-free flour mix - 2 tablespoons of softened Cannabutter - 2 tablespoons of softened, unmedicated butter or oil - 1 egg
Beat together the milk, butter and egg. Mix in flour mix and sugar (again, only if needed). Fold in nuts and berries as you mix and add more milk if batter becomes too thick. Bake at 325 degrees for 14-16 minutes.
Got any more recipes to share? Feel free to add them in the comments below.
More from our marijuana archives: "MMJ advertising ban: How will it be enforced?"; "Marijuana: Amendment 64 critic's attack on new study unfounded, proponents say"