An Intermediate's Guide to Marijuana Edibles
Now is the time to bake and get baked, in the comfort of home
By Alice B. Toker,
7:16PM, Mon. Apr. 20, 2020
Today I watched a dove fly back and forth between our tree and the neighbor’s pile of dead grass, cheerfully singing as it carried, blade by blade, the materials for a new nest. Her coos drowned out the shrill saws and banging hammers of nearby condo construction and daydreaming about her babies reinforced for me why doves symbolize peace. I was very high.Fiona Apple’s new album, did it dawn on me that I had accidentally eaten two weed pills: one, intentionally as a part of my daily regimen; and a second magic green vitamin because I forgot about the first one.
As I melted, I realized how much the world has changed since I shared my first foray into cooking with marijuana in A Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana Edibles, back in 2017. Strangely, remarkably, it’s also still very much the same: Marijuana is still illegal in Texas and federally, but people are still consuming it, perhaps more than ever before thanks to quarantine restrictions. I’ve been partaking in my favorite activity, my medicinal salvation, every day since then, and, like my bestie Fiona, I’m well-suited to rarely leaving my home, provided I have the resources I need to maintain a solid high.
Humans are resourceful, and being one of them – and identifying as a woman to boot – I’m pretty damn good at making the most of bonkers situations. We now have a living room pantry (no, it’s not full of toilet paper or hand sanitizer) with a few small crates of extra canned goods, pantry staples, and snacks to balance out the misfit produce assortment found in the fridge and fruit bowl. I’m getting more creative in the kitchen, thanks in part to acquisitions like blood oranges and sprouted turmeric wraps and odd varieties of rice – a testament to both my sedated ingenuity and necessity. I am a mother, but that’s not why all these new edible inventions bubble up. It’s the weed. And so, I am unapologetically proud to bring you this intermediate's guide so that you, too, may find some inner peace in this chaotic world.
It might be obvious, but it bears reiterating that now is most definitely not the time to share your pipe with friends. Or really, hang out with them in person at all, unless you’re fortunate enough to shelter-in-place with them. Our own Kevin Curtin created a video demonstration of excellent ways to turn items from your farm box delivery into new, if leaky and short-lived, celebratory pipes. You can, however, share your weed safely with those who’ve found themselves furloughed, with contactless, sanitized drop-offs. These days though, with a vicious respiratory virus affecting the entire world, switching to edibles is not only a grand plan, it’s less harmful to those big air sacks under your rib cage.
If you, like me, happened to acquire some mid-grade “gelato” during a buddy’s flash sale to make rent, you stockpiled your favorite nugs, or you have a lot of kief or shake, now is the time to experiment with culinary concoctions designed to fill your belly and calm your soul. Personally, until I win the lottery, I’m not going to cook with my highest-grade stuff. I’m going to assume, intermediate weed chef, that you’re well-versed in cannabutter and infused olive oil, and know that coconut oil is another excellent choice. (Note: adding a teensy bit of water to the cannabutter/oil helps to prevent scorching and cannabinoid degradation.) And adding them to cookie dough, tossing with pasta and Parmesan, and enjoying on your morning toast, or hell, in your coffee. But doing your part to flatten the curve means you’ve been blessed with the opportunity to get weird and soften the outside world's harsh realities in entirely new, more advanced, ways.
How much and what kind of marijuana (I’m a sativa gal) you cook with is entirely up to you, though a little can go a long way. Remember when cooking with marijuana, just as with smoking weed, the stronger the strain, the stronger the result and that eating your dose of THC often produces more intense results due to metabolizing the molecules. Also keep in mind that THC 1) must bind with a fat and 2) requires heat to activate (that’s decarboxylation, friends). Temperatures above 350°F kill the THC, so keep that in mind for recipes. Read about terpenes; read about dosing. And perhaps most importantly, the first rule of edibles club: Don’t lose track of how much you’ve consumed. And always, always keep all marijuana-related items far out of reach.
My new favorite marijuana vehicle is bacon. I’m not one of those freaks that keeps bacon Band-Aids in the first aid kit or adds it to every potato and sandwich, and I am wholeheartedly against adding it to my Bloody Mary. But, bacon does add a certain sparkle to the day, and adding marijuana is not only simple, it yields an additional return on your investment: infused bacon grease, perfect for scrambling eggs and sautéing onions. (Note: Yes, you could use vegan bacon but animal-friendly products don’t have the tasty fat to render.) The easiest method is to powder your herb to coarse salt size, sprinkle it on each strip and bake, flipping and re-sprinkling each strip. Eat the bacon however you choose, but absolutely don’t forget to save every drop of the drippings.
I’m also all about that savory not sweet life – except for gummy candy – and while most of the internet’s selection of weed recipes are for desserts, I find that not only do I prefer virginal gummies so that I can shovel them into my mouth with abandon, but there are plenty of creative ways to get your fix sans tooth decay. Sure, you could make fluffy weed pancakes with weed butter and weed syrup for brunch bliss, but why not try a crispy veggie and seafood-laden Korean scallion pancake instead? For healthy treats, try using any form in your smoothie. With the cannaoil, enhance your baked kale chips, make salad dressing or marinades, add to your favorite salsa or peanut butter recipes. Make trail mix. If you happen to have a dehydrator, consider the many possibilities for jerky and dried fruits, or even readying your marijuana for cooking. Sear your NY Strip in cannabutter and use the drippings for gravy. Make “medicated mac & cheese” by adding butter to the cheese sauce. As for those weed vitamins, they’re made by a friend, an angel genius, but you could re-create this modern wonder with capsules, oil, and incredibly steady hands.
Isn’t wearing an apron and staying home listening to birds chatter about your favorite musician much, much more comfortable than non-essentially venturing out into Coronaland wearing a makeshift mask?
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