It’s no secret that long before some states began to legalize medical and recreational marijuana use, some people had been making and using their own cannabis-infused edibles. The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book, first published in 1954, has been credited with making pot brownies famous among cannabis users of the past 60 or so years.

But edibles have definitely come a long way since then.

Today’s edibles have evolved into a wide range of recipes and forms. From medical marijuana gummies to a variety of cannabis-infused entrees, today’s choices are limited only by the imaginations of their creators.

Yet, there are some basic lessons one must learn before heading to your kitchen and begin cooking or baking with cannabis. Lesson No. 1 is to know what “decarboxylating” (commonly referred to as “decarbing”) is.

In scientific terms, decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide. This process is critical because it causes the THC-A in raw cannabis to be converted to THC. This process occurs automatically when people smoke or vape cannabis. But when making your own edibles at home, it is a crucial step that must not be overlooked. And here is how you do it:

Place your cannabis or cannabis concentrate in an ovenproof dish or baking sheet and cover with foil. Place it in a preheated 240-degree oven for approximately an hour – that’s it!

You will probably notice that you have lost a little volume in the process, but that’s normal. Your cannabis is now “decarbed” and ready for cooking or baking.

Now for some recipe ideas, which often start with cannabis butter. Here’s how to make this staple of any cannabis user’s kitchen:


Crockpot Cannabis Butter
(makes 1 cup for cooking)

You will need:

Crockpot (any size)

Cheesecloth (for straining)

Plastic storage container with lid

Ingredients:

4 cups water

2 sticks real butter

1/4 ounce decarbed cannabis

Directions: Place all three ingredients into the crock-pot and set the temperature to LOW.

Slow cook the mixture for 6 to 18 hours (12 hours on average). The longer your cook it, the stronger the product will be, both in potency and taste. Also, the more cannabis you use, the more potent it will be.

When cooking is done, strain the mixture using cheesecloth into a plastic food-storage container and chill in refrigerator for approximately six hours or until completely solid. This will separate the butter from the water and you can simply pour the water out of the container. What will be left is one cup of cannabutter to use for baking and cooking.

Store your cannabutter the same way as regular butter. It can also be frozen if you are not planning on using it soon.

But here are just a few ways you can use it:


So Simple Cannabis Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

1 box macaroni and cheese

2 teaspoons cannabutter

Directions:

Prepare as directed on package. Substitute cannabutter (for butter or margarine) when mixing with milk and cheese packet.


Cannabis Cornbread

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter

2 tsp. cannabutter

3/4 cup fine ground cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

5 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1 cup milk (at room temperature)

1 egg (at room temperature)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8-inch cake pan or cast-iron skillet with cooking spray. Melt butter and cannabutter in a small bowl in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove over medium. Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a liquid measuring cup, beat egg into milk with a fork until combined. Stir in butters. Pour contents of the measuring cup into the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Pour into pan or skillet and spread evenly. Bake until golden and a crust forms along the edges, 18-20 minutes. Let cool slightly, slice into 12 pieces.


Classic Cannabis Brownies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cannabutter (to make a weaker batch, use 1/4 cup cannabutter with 1/4 cup real unsalted butter)

1 cup white sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2  cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pan (8×8 or 9×9) lightly with cooking spray. Combine cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Melt butter (or butters), not letting it reach a boil.  Mix sugar and vanilla into the butter. Add sugar, butter,
eggs and vanilla to dry ingredients. Beat mixture until velvety and pour into baking pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes; let cool to room temperature.


By Nancy Fickett