If you were alive in the time before the Green Revolution, when cannabis was illegal for everyone, everywhere, the first edible you ever had was probably a clandestine Betty Crocker pot brownie made with good old cannabis infused butter. My first edible was some kind of peanut butter cup brownie out of a box and it was awful. It gave me a sugar high, and when the experience peaked, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I swore off edibles forever thinking they were all that way.
Now it’s time to put those days behind us. The brownie has almost become a cliche in the cannabis world and is personally one of my least favorite ways to incorporate cannabis into food (except for raw canna-brownies and homemade brownie bites, of course).
Likewise, butter has seen its better days. When it comes to the ever-growing world of edibles, butter is getting pushed to the sidelines in favor of other oils that make cooking with cannabis more versatile and flavorful; ones that give the user a smoother and more enjoyable experience.
Infusing oils is just as easy as making cannabutter, and they can be used for a variety of recipes. From sweet, to savory, to capsules, oils are a great delivery system for THC and other cannabinoids.
I’d like to share my favorite oils to infuse and cook with, but just know the sky is the limit for infusing oils with cannabis. You’ll just want to choose an oil with a high fat content and one that hasn’t been made from a genetically modified crop. Avoid canola oil and vegetable oil and stick with oils that aren’t too refined. They may be a bit more expensive up front, but you’re infusing them with an expensive herb and it would be a shame to waste it with an oil that doesn’t fully extract it, or one that negatively affects the flavor.
My all time favorite oil to make edibles with is cannabis infused coconut oil. I made an entire cannabis cookbook based around this oil and continue to use it for almost all of my baking needs. Coconut oil is full of good fats that are excellent for fully extracting all of the cannabinoids, which makes it the best full spectrum cannabis oil that I’ve ever used.
Olive oil is notoriously healthy and incredibly flavorful. I love infusing a big batch of olive oil and then making smaller batches with the cannabis-infused oil and roasted garlic or dried herbs. From there, it’s delicious in pasta salad, flatbread pizza or as a dipping oil for soft warm bread. Helpful tip: Use a high quality extra virgin olive oil that is actually olive oil and not colored and repackaged vegetable oil.
Red Palm Oil
Red Palm Oil is a beautiful and tasty oil that is rarely used in American cooking. The oil itself is good for high temperatures, so you can fry with it, but the temperatures used in frying can make the more delicate terpenes and cannabinoids disappear. It is best used at a low temperature, added to a stir fry or curry at the very end.
I usually only make this oil for special occasions. It’s not one for the tight budget. However, it is the best oil I’ve ever used to make cannabis infused pesto and it’s incredible for bruchetta. If you’re going savory Italian, I wouldn’t recommend anything else. I use a 50/50 blend of Walnut Oil and MCT Oil to make it more potent and a bit cheaper, but you can use just walnut oil if it’s what you have on hand.
Making Cannabis Infused Oils
Infusing all of these oils is really easy. You can follow the same method you’d use making cannabis coconut oil and just substitute the coconut oil for the oil of your choice. Happy cooking!