Cooking with cannabis can be a fun and creative activity that will probably involve a little trial and error. That's alright, mistakes are an essential part of every learning process, don’t let it deter you from baking your favourite banana bread infused with your favourite strain. With that in mind, let's talk about some of the most common mistakes when cooking cannabis and share tips and strategies on how to work your way around them to perfect your edibles.
Let’s dig right in!
1. Using Way Too Much Cannabis Flower
A major mistake most people make when cooking with cannabis for the first time is putting an excessive amount of dried cannabis flower into their recipes. Unlike herbs and spices, where you can follow a "the more, the merrier" mantra, a little goes a long way with cannabis.
Oil lipids can only bind to a certain amount of cannabinoids. Using too much when cooking with cannabis is a wrong move because chances are, you'll end up with an overpowering herby dish that wouldn't taste good. As a general rule, stick to the ratio of 1:1, which is one cup of oil to one cup of ground cannabis (approximately 7 to 10 grams).
2. Skipping the Decarboxylation Process
A common misconception most beginners make when cooking with cannabis is treating it like an herb and throwing it straight into the dish raw. Dried cannabis flowers need to go through a preparation process called decarboxylation. It activates the cannabinoids, ensuring that they bind to the lipids in the oil or butter effectively. If you skip this critical step, what would have been a delicious edible cannabis recipe would have an unpleasant flavour and will not give you the euphoric effects you’re expecting.
Whether you are whipping up your own cannabis-infused chocolates, baked goodies, or cannabutter recipe, decarboxylation is a must before proceeding to cooking with cannabis flowers. Also called decarbing, it involves roasting or baking dried cannabis flowers to stimulate and release cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD.
How to Decarb Cannabis Flowers
- Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Break the cannabis into little pieces. You can do this using scissors, a hand grinder, or your hands. Do not ground it into powder form, aim for the same consistency as if you were rolling joint. Pro tip: some people prefer grinding their cannabis after decarbing because it decreases the chances of burning easily.
- Place the cannabis pieces onto a sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes. Newly harvested cannabis flowers may take up to an hour to cook.
- To prevent burning, check the cannabis in the oven from time to time. Flip occasionally so all sides cook evenly. When you see the cannabis has turned a deep green with a bit of brown, it's a clear indication that it's ready to be taken out of the oven and that it's been decarboxylated.
Some people decarboxylate cannabis using a slow cooker to decarb in the oil. However, this process may take significantly longer and poses the risk of burning cannabis because the temperature is more challenging to regulate. Besides, the longer the cannabis soaks in the oil it may also leave a gross aftertaste.
3. Grinding Cannabis Too Finely
If your edibles come out with an overwhelmingly grassy and bitter taste, it could be because you have ground your cannabis into a powder-like consistency. When cooking with cannabis, some people make the mistake of taking shortcuts by prepping using kitchen gadgets, such as a coffee grinder, blender, or food processor. Doing so may save you some time but pulverizing your cannabis has several downsides, including:
- Activating chlorophyll, hence the pungent herbaceous flavour
- Making your cannabutter turn green
- Making it difficult to sift and strain the plant matter out of the mixture
A smart hack that can solve this cannabis cooking dilemma would be using a hand grinder, which offers controlled precision or going manual by using a pair of scissors, chopping knife, or your hands to break down the plant material. It is also recommended to use a clean cheesecloth rather than a strainer.
4. Unequal Potency
You whip up a batch of muffins using your homemade cannabutter. You serve it to friends, but they don't feel a thing after taking a bite. They wait a bit and take another one, but they are still nowhere near euphoria. Before dismissing your muffins as a bad batch, they take one last bite, and they feel the impacts at an intense level. If this happens to you, you likely did not stir the batter enough to distribute the THC evenly. When cooking with cannabis, stir as thoroughly as you can to make sure your edibles are heavenly good and equal with every bite.
5. Frying with Cannabutter
There are countless recipes that will come to mind when you think of cooking with cannabis-infused butter. However, frying should never be one of them. Cannabutter is vulnerable to high cooking temperatures around 390 Fahrenheit. Baking lets you set the temperature lower, but frying or microwaving does not. When exposed to extreme heat, cannabutter degrades quickly.
It may seem logical to use cannabutter as you would regular butter; unfortunately, there are some exceptions. If you want to flavour your favourite meals with cannabutter, you can still do so by adding a slice on top of a freshly fried dish after it's just gotten out of the pan. Since the food is still hot, it's going to melt the cannabutter easily, and you'll get that creamy buttery goodness you desire.
Make cooking with cannabis extra exciting by shopping at Smokey's. We have everything you need from a variety of dried cannabis flowers, to oils and extracts, edibles, and more. For more information, shoot us a message. A member of our team will get back to you shortly!