3. Use good butter and good weed. Ingredients matter! I personally suggest choosing a high-quality unsalted butter and using a good quality strain of marijuana. It might be more expensive, but it will give you better-tasting results.
As executive chef, Lauren Finesilver simply says, “it’s all about the cannabutter”. Your cannabutter is the flavor core of your edibles, and therefore should be considered of key importance. There are a few reasons why.
21+ consumers should be sure to seek out products which are clearly marked and tested for potency. Brian Ach/Getty Images for New York Magazine
4. Do a good job of straining. When making cannabutter, use a very fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain the weed so that you don’t get any leaves or buds in your finished cannabutter.
I got to pick the brains of Jesse Burns and Kristy Gustafson from their marketing department, as well as executive chef Lauren Finesilver. Now, before anything else, they wanted me to tell you that overall, they discourage at home baking and note that professionally prepared edibles will provide the most reliable and safe dosing. 21+ consumers should be sure to seek out products which are clearly marked and tested for potency.
The weed flavor can be overpowering, and you’re still left wanting a delicious dessert that actually tastes good. OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images
5. Be intelligent with flavor pairings. Marijuana has, well, an herbal flavor. As such, baked goods with herbal or spicy flavors are ideal pairings, as it will work in harmony with the weed flavor. As noted above, Sweet Grass Kitchen offers a killer ginger molasses cookie which doesn’t taste of weed at all.
To start, I hit up one of the commercial cannabis bakeries which I admire, Colorado’s Sweet Grass Kitchen. This pioneering commercial cannabis bakery has been in operation since 2009. They’re a big deal: their products are sold in over 500 dispensaries and over 2 million servings were dosed in just the past year (like whoa). Much of their success owes to a simple fact: their edibles, which include cookies, pies, brownies, and even some confections, taste good. Their snickerdoodles are satisfying as a cookie as well as an edible; their brownies don’t taste skunky or overly weed-y, but definitely deliver a satisfying dosage. So…what’s the secret?
Another helpful tip from Finesilver? Intelligence with flavor combination matters. For instance, Sweet Grass Kitchen offers a seasonal ginger molasses cookie in which you can barely taste weed at all because of the assertiveness of the ginger. Or framed another way, if you don’t like the taste of weed in your edibles, a recipe like shortbread isn’t going to offer a whole lot to cover up the flavor.
We examine if using canna-butter can help improve the taste of edibles. The most common complaint with edibles is the taste of marijuana.
A good example would be chocolate chip cookies. If you can’t taste creamy, warm, sweet butter, they lose some of that magic. Using a ratio of ⅔ fresh butter to ⅓ infused butter in any baked application is a great way to make sure that your cookies don’t taste like Willie Nelson’s bong water. This works for coconut oil too, which makes wonderful baked goods and goes well with the aroma of cannabis.
The best chocolate truffles I’ve ever made are vegan and full of super fine bud particulate, which normally tastes terrible. To roll up these simple treats, warm 1 cup of coconut milk with some cracked cardamom, and stir that into 1 pound of finely chopped dark chocolate until melted. Fold in some extra finely ground, once-pressed herb you’ve used to make other infusions. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, then form into a ball shape, toss in some cocoa powder, and wrap with wax paper.
Concentrates are a virtually foolproof method for adding THC to food if you are judicious with the potency. Different types of concentrates provide varying strengths and effects, and a much less dramatic scent when compared to raw cannabis. Though all concentrates can still potently flavor a dish due to the high terpene content, the most foolproof way to limit their taste is to limit how much you use. One gram of concentrate can clock in at 750 milligrams of pure THC, so for a tray of brownies, use no more than one third, and you shouldn’t taste much.
Oil and fat-loaded savories like aioli, cheesy dips, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese are all places where the slight flavor of cannabis is actually delicious, not disturbing. Experiment with sugarless things that pair well with other herbs like rosemary and thyme and you will soon see weed’s earthy flavor in a new light. Buttery things like pie crust and hollandaise sauce also make really luxe cannabis food, and they don’t change the original recipe much or at all.
Even the weed Kool Aid Man couldn’t bust through the Maillard-driven flavors of caramel candy. Hard and soft caramels with decarboxylated concentrate stirred in are pretty common ways to get your dose, but if you don’t have candy making skills, caramel sauce made with cannabutter is another excellent route. The creaminess flows around the peppery weed and, if you make rosemary caramels, you can hardly taste cannabis in that flavor pool.
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You should never give people any sort of illicit substance without their knowledge or consent, but you should make your well-labeled foods taste as good as—or better than—food that doesn’t get you high. (Failure to warn people of potentially hyperdimensional space capacity in your food can result in their going plaid , or you know, losing their job or making an unexpected hospital visit.)
I’d wager a good portion of 14-64 year old humans ask “Is there weed in here?” when handed a…
If you want the ability to make edibles on a whim, make your butter or oil extra strong, in advance, and freeze it for future projects. A double or triple dose of THC in the same amount of fat will take up less space in the freezer and also require less up-front oil. This concentrated extraction will not taste that good used in large quantities, but when mixed with fresh, uninfused oil, it’s much less brutal. Fats lose a lot of their unique tasting notes when infused with heat and herb and, adding in virgin stuff right before cooking nails those unique flavors that complete a recipe, like flowery butter, nutty sesame, or peppery olive oil.
You may be of the school of stoners that likes an edible treat now and again, or you may be a medical user in search of the tastiest options. You may also be a host or party-goer who wants people to fully enjoy themselves with various intoxicating offerings, and wishes to make a potent potluck dish that doesn’t taste like mulch.