The hottest new ingredient on every baker’s list is cannabis. Using this plant in your meals is an easy and discreet way to get the benefits of marijuana without smoking it. With baking, you can control the amount of CBD and/or THC you get in the final product.
It’s such a popular hobby today that there are thousands of “baking with cannabis” cookbooks. The problem is that a lot of these are written by self-proclaimed experts. It’s easy to unknowingly make mistakes while you’re baking if you’re listening to bad advice or trying to start cannabis cooking on your own. As you’re learning the ropes, have fun and experiment! But always make sure to avoid these five common mistakes that many new cannabis bakers find themselves doing.
Ground cannabis is like coffee grounds. It’s better fresh, and no matter how well you seal it, it eventually loses its flavor. Cannabis buds release their terpenes during the grinding process. Terpenes are what are responsible for the flavor and aroma, so you want to hold onto them as long as possible.
If you plan on cooking with a lot of weed, you may be tempted to grind a lot and store it. Your best bet is to buy your buds fresh a little at a time. Invest in a cannabis herb grinder and only grind as you need the product. As a side note, never grind your bud into a powder.
Getting it down this fine causes the chlorophyll in the plant to enter whatever it is you’re cooking. If you think it needs to be fine because you’re trying to mix it with something like flour or sugar, it doesn’t work that way. Use this recipe by Veriheal to make your cannabis-infused flour and sugar, not a food processor that pulverizes the plant.
2. Forgetting to Decarb
Decarbing doesn’t mean cutting out the pasta when you’re baking with cannabis. It’s a process called decarboxylation, and it’s an essential step in using your flowers. The decarbing process activates the cannabinoids to pull the flavor out. It’s also what binds the CBD to the lipids, which is what gives you the desired effects. Without this binding, you lose the whole point of adding cannabis to your recipe.
Decarboxylate your flower in the oven so you can control the temperature. It’s important to use a low setting and a flat pan, so all the cannabinoids cook at the same rate. A general rule of thumb most cannabis bakers use is 240° F for 45 minutes.
3. Straining Wrong
The process of infusing cannabis with oils is a sensitive one. You can have the best infuser on the market, but if you strain the finished product wrong, you lose the best parts. One of the must-have cannabis supplies for bakers is a cheesecloth.
It’s a special type of cloth that acts as a strainer for fine oils. After you finish the infusion, you have to separate the oil from the leftover plant pieces. To do this, place the cloth over the jar you’re keeping the oil in.
Slowly pour the infusion mixture onto the cheesecloth and let it naturally strain out. Don’t try to rush it or force it. If you do, you’re going to end up with excess plant material in your oil, which will affect the overall taste.
4. Not Stirring Enough
The point behind stirring in baking is to make sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed in every bite. It’s not a big deal if you’re making a regular batch of brownies. But in cannabis brownies and other edibles, it’s a huge deal. If you don’t stir enough, some bites are going to be overpowering, while others will be completely bland.
This is especially necessary when you’re cooking with cannabis-infused butter or oil. The stirring process has to be thorough in order for the oil and butter to spread across every inch of your batter.
In other words, once you think you’re done stirring, stir it again, and then do it some more just to be safe. When you’re done and each bite is savory cannabis-infused perfection, you’ll be glad you took the time to do the extra whisking.
5. Using Too Much Cannabis
The measurements you’d used with a regular recipe don’t transfer over to cannabis. You need to understand your own tolerance level and how to turn that amount into the right dose to use in a recipe.
Find Your Personal Tolerance
Whatever you’re going to cook with, either ground cannabis or oil-infused, do a trial test beforehand. Measure a ¼ teaspoon and mix it in a drink or add it to your meal. If it doesn’t give you enough of an effect, boost the measurement up to ½ teaspoon and try again the next day.
When you figure out what your perfect individual dose is, that’s what you’ll use in the future as you cook. One dose per serving should be enough to cover the whole batch, depending on the size.
If you’re making a big batch to share with others, keep in mind that their personal tolerance might not be the same as yours. For newbies, consider lowering the dose per serving that you use. But if they’re cannabis connoisseurs, a second batch at a higher dose could be on the menu, as long as you don’t go overboard.
Almost every chef will tell you that “baking” and “cooking” are two different things. You might be a talented cook, but when it comes to baking, the process is entirely different. When you add an ingredient like cannabis into the mix, it becomes trickier. It’s easy to make mistakes as you’re starting out.
Even seasoned cannabis bakers admit to the occasional mess-up. Now that you know the five main mistakes to avoid, the fun can begin! Pull out your favorite weed recipe, grab your flowers and buds, and you’re on your way to being an expert cannabis baker!