Are you hosting for the holidays this year and planning to cook?

Or are you thinking that some marijuana brownies or cookies would make the perfect gift for a fellow cannabis enthusiast?

Until you know what you’re doing, baking or cooking cannabis edibles can be a little tricky.

You could spend a lot of time (money and product) learning by trial and error.

Or you can read through the following tips to make your efforts and experimentation a bit more fruitful.

Ground Your Cannabis with a Hand Grinder

Although you may be tempted to pulverize your cannabis down into a fine powder so it’s easier to incorporate into your recipe, don’t.

If you ground it too fine, you’ll end up with green oil or butter. That’s because the finer ground allows for chlorophyl to seep into the oil or butter.

Think that sounds pretty cool? Think again. Cannabinoids readily bind to fats and a coarse grind allows it to absorb without pulling in unwanted plant material.

In other words, grounding cannabis into a powder is also going to make it a lot harder to strain unwanted, bad-tasting plant material. No matter how much you like the taste of marijuana.

Decarboxylate Cannabis First in the Oven

When making cannabis edibles, you can’t just toss the raw flower into the batter you’re baking or the dish you’re cooking.

Unless, of course, you want the final result to taste bad and be ineffective. Then go ahead.

Otherwise, you’ll need to decarboxylate it to fully activate the cannabinoids so they’ll bind with the lipids.

To decarboxylate correctly, you need to set your oven to the right temperature, letting it heat for long enough, and mixing it to activate the most surface area.

The rule of thumb is to:

  1. Heat the oven to 220°F
  2. Cook for at least 25 minutes
  3. Be sure to mix the buds every 10 minutes
  4. If cannabis is especially fresh and still moist, cook longer until dry

If you’re pressed for time, you can decarboxylate at 300°F for 10-18 minutes, stirring every five minutes. But the low and slow method is always best.

Remember that Less is More

Wondering how much cannabis it takes to make a cup of infused butter? Here’s the ratio you need to remember:

Use 1 cup of butter for 1 cup of ground cannabis (about 7-10 grams).

If you want your brownies or cookies to be extra strength, it isn’t really going to serve you to go beyond the 1:1 ratio.

The lipids in the butter can only bind with so many cannabinoids. So if you decide to load up on cannabis, you’re only going to be wasting it by exceeding that ratio.

Also, when it comes to infusing butter or oil, you may want to consider using cannabis stems, trim, or cannabis flower that’s already been vaporized (AVB).

You’ll save some money this way.

Patiently Strain the Oil with Cheesecloth

When it comes time to strain out the plant material from your oil, your best bet is a cheesecloth.

But be patient!

Squeezing the cheesecloth will get the oil out more quickly, but more plant material will come with it too. So sit back and let gravity do the work.

Stir Well

And we mean REALLY well.

This is the best way to ensure that the oil or butter is distributed evenly across the batter so that each cookie or brownie has the perfect dosage.

Otherwise, while your gift may be well baked, the recipient of your gift may not be.

Test the Oil’s Potency

Do you want to see how powerful your oil is before serving it up to your guests?

Run a “strand test” to gauge how much oil you’ll need based on its potency.

To figure out the perfect single dose, add 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of your oil to some food or drink and then wait an hour to see how you feel. Some of your guests may be more sensitive to THC than you, so keep that in mind.

Once you’ve nailed the desired effects, multiply that dose per serving if making a shareable batch such as a pizza or a cake. Otherwise, simply scoop that perfect dose onto each individual dish and serve it up.

Then let the good times roll!

Baking or Cooking Cannabis Edibles Is an Art

It just takes some practice.

So if you’re baking or cooking cannabis edibles this holiday (or any other) season, we hope the above tips help.

And for all the latest on what’s happening in the cannabis industry, keep checking back with our blog!