So you want to know how to cook with cannabis to make your own edibles? Well, good news: it’s actually a lot easier than you might think.
The easiest and most precise way to do it is to use a tincture, but that’s not quite as fun and it can get pretty expensive if you’re cooking a lot. So we break it down simply into 7 easy steps below.
Keep in mind, of course, the one downside of making your own edibles is that you won’t know the exact strength of each portion since you won’t be getting these edibles lab-tested, but as long as you start conservatively, you’ll do just fine!
Making Your Own Cannabis Cooking Oil
Most people will use an oil base for their cooking, or a butter. Although you can make cannabis flour (but we’ll cover that in a future post).
Both canna oil and butter are prepared essentially the same way, but we focus on oils and at the end, we’ll let you know how to change up the recipe for butter.
Ready to get your grub on? Let’s rock ‘n roll!
How to Cook with Cannabis – Step 1: Choose a Strain
Every strain is, of course, unique. Maybe you want a high-CBD strain, a sedating Indica, or a peppy Sativa. All work great. Just make sure to use a strain that has a rich terpene profile to get the most health benefits from your oil. Also, we recommend using strains with lower THC levels that you might use for smoking or vaping — around 10 – 15% is good. No Durban Poison or Dutch Treat, please.
How much cannabis you use depends on how much your recipe calls for or whether you want to have leftovers for other cooking. Generally, an ounce will do, but that’s up to you. Just make sure you dry the flower out before you mix it with the oil.
Here are a few strains (with lower THC content or high CBD content) that we recommend for making your oil:
- Killer Grape: ≈ 14% THC
- Girl Scout Cookies CBD: ≈ 8% THC 14.5% CBD
You can find all of these strains on our menu.
How to Cook with Cannabis – Step 2: Decide on What Kind of Oil You’d like to Use as a Base
If you’ve ever used a tincture and tried to mix it in a drink, you’ve probably noticed it doesn’t mix all that well. Why? Pot isn’t water soluble; it’s oil soluble. So you’ll do best using a high-fat oil, like coconut oil or canola. You can even use olive oil. Keep in mind, however, that canola has a higher boiling point than canola and olive oils.
While all of these work well, you’ll want to consider what you plan to cook and what will best complement the flavor.
How to Cook with Cannabis – Step 3: Grind Your Weed
You can use just the flower, or if you desire, you can use other components of the plant. Either way, before you cook with your cannabis cooking oil, you’re going to need to strain it first.
How do you grind your weed? You can use a quality cannabis grinder which you can buy at our store. You can use a food processor or a coffee grinder, although you’d probably want to designate a processor or coffee grinder specific for that use (unless you don’t mind leaving a little residual flavor, which could be a good thing if you like your morning cup of Joe to taste like Bubba Kush).
If you do use a food processor or coffee grinder, make sure you don’t grind it up so fine that it won’t strain properly.
How to Cook with Cannabis – Step 4: Mix the Oil and Cannabis Together in a Cooking Device
A lot of people really like slow cookers which tend to work really well. However, you can use whatever you’d like. A saucepan will work just fine.
Next, mix the oil and bud together in your pan or slow-cooker until the bud is totally submerged in oil. The ratio of oil to cannabis you’ll want to use will depend on the recipe you’re following. If you don’t have a recipe you’re following, 3 parts oil to 1 part cannabis will work fine. However, you can go as high as 16 to 1 (as in 16 ounces oil to 1-ounce cannabis). If you’re using the metric system, 1 ounce is approximately 30 milliliters.
If you plan to cook for guests and you’re going to use the oil in several dishes, you’ll want to go with a wider ratio so that you don’t knock out your guests.
How to Cook with Cannabis – Step 5: Dissolve the Cannabis in the Oil
Heat up the mixture in your slow cooker or cooking pan so that your weed dissolves. Don’t use so much heat that it scorches your weed; you just want to get it hot enough so that it dissolves easily. You can add a little water periodically to keep your bud from scorching.
If you’re using a slow cooker, you’ll want to cook on low heat for at least 6 to 8 hours, but as long as 2 or 3 days if you want it really well infused and potent. If you’re using a saucepan, you’ll want to heat it for about half that time, but at least 3 hours. The longer you cook, the more the weed will infuse the oil. If you’re using the slow cooker, you don’t have to check it or mix as often. If using a saucepan, you’ll want to keep a close eye on it and mix frequently. You definitely don’t want it to boil over.
How to Cook with Cannabis – Step 6: Strain Your Mix
Be careful when you strain the oil mixture. You should strain the mix while it’s still hot. You can use a wire strainer first to remove the biggest chunks. Keep in mind this can take a long time.
If you want to make sure you’ve removed all the flower, you can run it through a coffee filter or a cheesecloth. Do this in small batches! Cheesecloths tend to work better than coffee filters because you can strain a greater volume at one time.
If you’re using the cheesecloth, make sure to use several layers. You can place the cheesecloth over a salad mixing bowl secured with rubber bands.
Once you’ve strained the oil, you’ll want to pour it into an airtight glass jar. As a safety precaution, first, heat up the glass by running under hot water. Otherwise, the glass can easily break and you’ll lose the oil you worked so hard to make
How to Cook with Cannabis – Step 7: Immediately Store (Or Use) Your Cannabis Oil
Voila! Congratulations, you’re done with the hard part. Now either store the oil in the airtight jar somewhere cool and dark, or use immediately. Oxygen and light are the enemies of cannabis oil, as they can lessen the potency and freshness of the oil. If you store it properly, your oil can last up to 60 (maybe 90) days. Or you can freeze or refrigerate it to make it last longer.
If you plan on using it immediately, obviously you’ll want a recipe ready. Simply use the cannabis oil to replace part of the oil called for in the recipe. Since you don’t know what the potency is, make sure you start low and go slow with your first couple of culinary creations. You can start with maybe a half to one ounce of oil until you feel comfortable with the strength.
If you prefer to use butter next time instead of oil, the preparation is virtually identical, but you’ll want to start out with a single stick of salted butter and you’ll want to simmer it between 8 to 24 hours if using the slow cook method. Use about a quarter to a half ounce of weed per stick of butter. Butters can be great because it can be more versatile than cooking with oil. You can even add butter to your toast!
Of course, now you’re going to need some recipes to make your edibles. Here’s a great place to start:
Do you have any favorite edible recipes? Let us know in the comments section! And, remember to sign up for our latest cannabis news and deals below.