So, we learned how to activate the THC in our cannabis and now it’s time to cook with it. The old-fashioned way was to just throw some weed into brownie batter and hope for the best but those days are gone. We used a sous vide bath to decarb and we are going to continue using that sous vide bath to infuse our oils, fats and dairy because it’s consistent, it’s easy, it’s hands off and discreet as it’s odour free.
THC requires fat or alcohol to bind to and since I don’t like to mix alcohol with consumed cannabis, I always use fat. Fat can be any sort of oil or animal fat, including dairy but we will save dairy for another day. For now, we are talking oils. The most common two oils for infusing are olive oil and coconut oil but I infuse sesame oil, duck fat, butter, pork lard and grapeseed oil as well.
A note regarding potency:
My favourite online dosage calculator is at Hempster, so bookmark it. Sure you can do the math in your head, but why would you do that when there are online calculators?
You enter in the amount of cannabis you are using in grams, the amount of fat in cups and the percentage of THC in your weed and it will do the math for you.
You have decarbed your cannabis and using the calculator, you will assume that the THC level is at 100%.
1 cup of oil with 1 gram of cannabis with 21% THC
You will have 13.31mg of THC per tbls or 4.4 mg THC per tsp
Now it’s up to you if you want your infusion to be stronger or weaker. For fats that I will use a larger amount of and that I want a more subtle flavour , like butter, I made the infusions weaker, always working towards 5mg of THC in a tbls.
For oils that I am going to just use a drop, I will make them more potent ( like sesame oil) and I will want those to have 5mg of THC in a tsp, or 15mg in a tbls so I use more cannabis per cup of oil.
Because my style of cannabis cooking is more about adding infused oils while plating and micro-dosing, I don’t make my oils as strong as others might. This is a personal choice. Heating your decried cannabis above 350 to 392F (depends who you are talking to) causes the THC to degrade so I do not often actually cook with it – I also like to dose precisely, which is difficult to do if you just throw some oil into a recipe and can’t control exactly how much each guest in getting in their portion. It’s much easier to drizzle 1 tips of olive oil onto each salad than it is to guesstimate how much salad dressing everyone is getting on their plate.
I always assume that I have gotten 100% Decarboxylation so if I started with 21% THCA, I have 21% THC after decarbing. The worst thing that can happen is that my oil is a bit weaker than I am assuming and after trying it a time or two, I can adjust my serving sizes. For me, the WORST thing that I can do is end up with oil that is stronger than I am accounting for and make dishes too strong and scare people away by making them green out.
Stay tuned for infusing dairy information and then, recipes for delicious dishes that make the most out of all of these delicious infusions.
Unless otherwise stated, all of the recipes that I will share will be approx 5mg of THC per serving.
1 cup of your preferred oil – Olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, sesame oil, duck fat, pork lard etc
When using solid fats like butter or lard, melt first before adding the cannabis
1 or more grams Decarbed cannabis, depending on desired strength
Put your desired amount of decarbed cannabis into a glass canning jar- try to fit the jar to the amount of oil being infused so you don’t have a half-empty jar. Turn the lid until it’s just finger-tight.
Alternatively, you can put the oil and the cannabis into a zip lock back, use the *water displacement method to get rid of as much air as possible and make sure the seal is absolutely watertight. I think it’s wise to use a canning jar for butter, lard and duck fat.
Heat water in your sous vide bath to 185F or 85C.
Once it’s at temperature, lower your jar or your ziplock bag into the water and let it infuse in the bath for four hours. If using jars, they don’t have to be completely submerged. Make sure the water comes up to the bottom of the lid if you are not submerging. Let the oil infuse in the sous vide bath for four hours.
After the time is up, remove the jar/ziplock bag from the water bath. Line a small strainer with some cheesecloth and strain the fat into a clean jar, giving the cheesecloth a gentle squeeze to get out most of the last dregs and then discard the bud.
If you don’t have a sous vide, you can heat a big pot of water to 185, using a thermometer and you can put a canning trivet on the bottom of the pot. Using canning jars, you can monitor your water for four hours, adjust the heat, and keep the water at 185F. It is time-consuming and requires constant monitoring but it works too.
Let the oil cool and store in a cool, dark place or in the fridge. Always store animal fat like duck fat or lard in the fridge.
*water displacement- fill your zip lock and seal about 3/4 of the closure. Slowly lower the bag into the water bath, letting the water pressure force the air out of the bag. When the seal line reaches the top of the water, slowly close the rest of the bag, making sure it’s totally sealed up.