Baking, cooking and mixing food and drink with cannabis extracts and concentrates is a fine art that can take a really long time to perfect. It’s science, after all.
With the right techniques, you can skate by even as a beginner. Use this list to make sure your knowledge is up to speed as a marijuana chef so you can avoid any crucial and potentially money-wasting mistakes.
Clean your cannabis
Some plants, especially outdoor plants, can be contaminated with dirt, bacteria and even bird poop. Avoid this first off by purchasing clean nuggets from a reliable source. Fix a bad situation by gently boiling the nuggets, since boiling water is not hot enough to mess with the cannabinoids that you’re targeting with any infusion.
The decarboxylation step converts the active ingredients into tissue-penetrating THC from THC-A in the raw plant. Skip this step and your edibles may hit you hours later in your liver, rather than in your mouth, stomach, esophagus, etc where they will work faster.
Strain with gloves
Do not press or strain with your bare hands. Not only is it unsanitary, you will get stoned. The sheer amount will definitely make you feel something. People say that’s not true, but it has happened to me a few times when breaking this essential rule. Plus, you can use a spatula to salvage the last drops of your brew from gloved fingers; you can’t do that with your bare hands, ew.
Use devices where possible
Devices can be helpful in that they do a lot of the tricky work for you. Temperature regulation, stirring and timing are all things you can screw up no matter how great of a chef you are. When I tried the Magical Butter, I realized that technology is about to run wild in the cannabis world.
Use a good saturation ratio
Try not to overpack any infusion with nugs; you need to have enough liquid to actually strain out. The less liquid you use, the harder it will be to recoup liquid filled with goodies. A good starter ratio is one g material per one oz. of medium, be it alcohol or glycerin.
Invest in a Sodastream
If you like mixing mocktails and cocktails with your creations, buying seltzer in cans and bottles is not only bad for the environment, it’s bad for your wallet. A Sodastream pays for itself in months and you will always have bubbles on hand.
Freezer is your friend
Save anything you don’t eat right away in the freezer, where its shelf life will be greatly increased. Even a bottle with a few drops of olive oil left can dress a salad when the time comes. Same goes for the brownie you smartly cut in half. Stash it in the freezer where it won’t start to go bad. Top it with ice cream another day!
Save anything you don’t eat right away in the freezer, where its shelf life will be greatly increased / Photo: Roschetzky IstockPhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Don’t go overboard with the heat
One reason you don’t see a lot of sautéed or deep-fried cannabis items is for the simple reason that direct heat like that in a pan or grill could burn off those party vibes and leave you with sleepy CBN. You can grill and fry things, but try to leave it to things that cook quickly, or add the cannabis after the fact.
Ovens are such a common application because of the steady and controlled heat. Staying under 350 F is the smart plan.
With these tips, you can now avoid most major ganja goofs. Now you can do your best while waiting to be able to purchase cannabis cooking aids in the store like we should have been able to get all along.