Episode 69

Show Notes

Cannabis cooking: How to make edibles (for beginners)

Are you ready to cook with cannabis? Today’s show will help with all the practical canna cooking tips you need to start making weed edibles . We’ll cover how much THC or CBD to put into a recipe to get to your desired effects, and give you chef’s tips for making delicious homemade edibles.

We’ll talk about starting techniques like decarbing cannabis to activate CBD and THC (if you’re looking for intoxicating effects), dosage, and the best strains to utilize to prepare delectable cannabis-infused dishes.

Stay tuned to our next episode for easy-to-make homemade cannabis edible recipes & our expert chefs’ hacks for cooking with marijuana.

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Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:00):

This podcast discusses cannabis, and is intended for audiences 21 and over.

Chef Amanda Jackson (00:06):

Any strains really that have fairly high levels of terpenes or aromatic, I’m usually down for. Because those are easier to pair, they’re a lot more fun to play with.

It’s like using herb rather than just using cannabis for the effects. Because while, yeah, I enjoy the medicinal part, I’m here to eat. I’m really just here to eat.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:30):

Welcome back to How To Do The Pot. I’m Ellen Scanlon. You just heard from Amanda Jackson, a California-based chef who you might recognize from the Netflix show Cooked With Cannabis. We’ve gotten lots of questions lately about cooking with weed, and today we’ll talk to Chef Amanda and Chef Michellee Fox, a native Brazilian, a farmer, and the Development Manager for FoodBay TV, a food and lifestyle TV network in Africa.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:56):

We’ll cover how much THC or CBD to put into a recipe to get your desired effects, and give you practical tips for making weed-infused food. Stay tuned to our next episode for easy-to-make recipes and our expert chefs’ hacks for cooking with weed.
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Ellen Lee Scanlon (01:30):

Maybe you’ve heard of a cookie casualty, someone who was looking for a good time and ate a cannabis cookie, then had a terrible time that they definitely do not want to repeat.

Hopefully dosing in the legal market is making that a more rare occurrence, but what if you love homemade cookies? Or you just really want to try cooking weed food at home? We’ve got you covered with the help of two chefs who have a lot of experience cooking with cannabis. Chef Amanda Jackson says that step one for cooking with weed is to have fun.

Chef Amanda Jackson (02:03):

Stay creative, and stay curious. Don’t lean into being afraid, lean into curiosity. It’s just weed. It’s just food.

A lot of us, especially those of us of color, we come from a long line of cooks. Culinary school didn’t necessarily teach a lot of us how to cook, but it did add language. Meanwhile, the vast majority of us, I learned on the job and with my elders, not at school.

We have to be really careful, I think, about not being gatekeepers and not allowing information to act as gatekeepers. If you’re not a chef and you are not doing some Michelin-type shit, who cares?

Chef Amanda Jackson (02:39):

Another big part of this is setting the vibe and knowing exactly what you’re making your butter or your oil for. Are you making this to put in cookies to eat before bed? Are you making this for a salad to have on your lunch break? It just depends on really what you’re doing and what you’re going for.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (02:56):

Chef Michellee Fox suggests thinking about how you to feel before you start cooking, and trying some edibles from a licensed dispensary to find the dose that works best for you.

Chef Michellee Fox (03:06):

Go to the store, because the companies that are selling at the dispensary, they have to make sure that that milligram amount is a hundred percent correct. When you’re trying at home, you’re still trying to figure it out how to get that amount correct.

But if you buy a gummy that says 2.5 milligrams, and you eat that and you’re like, “Okay, I can totally handle that. Maybe I’ll try one more,” and that would be five milligrams and you’re like, “Okay, I feel a little more, but I’m still good.” Because when you’re cooking at home there’s a lot of a guessing game in a way, because you can’t just send your cookie to the lab to get tested.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (03:46):

Chef Amanda has great advice for how to get started in the kitchen.

Chef Amanda Jackson (03:49):

My best practical advice for home cooks is to get a cookbook. When I first started doing this, I had to piece all of these things together on the internet. But all of these people who I used to follow on the internet, who were giving away this information for free years ago, they all have cookbooks now.

I really do suggest starting there because they start you on how to do dosages while you’re making it. So you actually learn the same process that the rest of us do. It can be really, really daunting, but it’s really not necessarily a super hard thing.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (04:22):

So what are chefs’ tips for dosing your food with cannabis? Chef Michellee breaks it down.

Chef Michellee Fox (04:26):

I think the most important part is to master the volume of THC or CBD per recipe. I would start between one and 2.5 milligram THC edibles, and make sure to write it down and do test kitchen.

Test kitchen is really important. Try the first recipe, measure the amount of THC, figure it out how long you’re putting it in the oven, write it down like a diary. The hardest part, I think, is the over usage of THC.

Chef Michellee Fox (04:57):

So I like to do things like, for example, if I’m making a cookie, I’ll make a couple of THC cookies, but then I’ll make the same version of the same cookie with the CBD. So then you can eat one CBD cookie, one THC cookie, and then you’ll feel it out. And then you go again, one CBD cookie, one THC cookie, and keep on going until you don’t want to eat cookies anymore.

Chef Michellee Fox (05:20):

I cannot express how important it is, the balance between CBD and THC when you’re consuming, because it balances each other. So if I do 2.5 milligram of THC, I will do a five or sometimes 7.5 CBD. I think that when we first started this whole revolution of eating cannabis, nobody really had access to CBD. It makes a difference when you’re consuming both.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (05:51):

Chef Amanda uses an app that helps calculate the ratios of THC and CBD.

Chef Amanda Jackson (05:57):

JeffThe420Chef, he has a calculator. It’s an app. You can calculate CBD or THC, one of my favorite resources. You can make literally anything, and once you do you’ll see, oh, the likelihood of you just giving yourself this outrageous dosaging, that’s a choice.

Chef Amanda Jackson (06:16):

If you are a person who is an experienced cannabis user, even if you’ve never had edibles, I always just start with five and kind of move up hour by hour. Because you can always take another one, but you can’t come down like that.

Actually you can. Have CBD laying around. Something fast-acting like a CBD joint or water or a tincture that will be fast-acting if you are a person who’s afraid you’re going to get too high.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (06:42):

We’ve shared this tip before, and it’s a really good one to remember. If you feel too high, have some CBD around. Easiest is probably an oil tincture or maybe a CBD joint, and take it to balance out your high. You’ll feel better in about 15 to 30 minutes.

So how do you choose the strain to use in your food? You may have heard of terpenes, which give food its smell and taste. If you’re curious about terpenes in cannabis, check out How To Do The Pot’s episode 25, Will I Vibe With This Bud? Chef Amanda explains what they are.

Chef Amanda Jackson (07:14):

Terpenes is really more about the aromatics. I find it easier to explain terpenes to people who understand essential oils. If you know most of the names of essential oils, you’ll be like, “Oh, okay. I get it.”

I think that’s the easiest way to kind of explain it, is a comparison to essential oils.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (07:30):

When you’re ready to buy flour for your recipes, Chef Amanda has another tip; Your nose knows.

Chef Amanda Jackson (07:35):

Pick it up, smell it if they’ll let you. You know, COVID, but if they’ll let you smell it, do that, and take it home. That’s the one you should pick, the one that made you go, “Hm.”

If they won’t let you smell it, ask the bud-tender what it smells like. They usually know.

Chef Amanda Jackson (07:49):

I was at an all-you-can-eat buffet, and once a week I literally would go and I’d get different strains until I tried them all. That’s when I learned about the smell, the terpenes. And then I’d go to a different dispensary after that, that had different stuff, and just keep trying through.

The same way sommeliers keep a notebook of wines they’ve I tasted, I have a notebook of strains I’ve tried. That was really just me wanting to also spend the time learning about weed in a way that made sense to me.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (08:19):

One of the words you’ll hear about cooking with cannabis is decarboxylate. What is it?

Chef Amanda Jackson (08:24):

It is just a really, really, really big word that means activating the THC compound in the cannabis with heat. There is a point where you actually do activate the THC the same way we spark when we smoke. But for cooking, we don’t want that burnt taste, so we’re just going to heat it enough to get to that point.

That’s all we’re doing in the oven. We’re baking it for a certain amount of time at a certain level. I do 225 for about 35-40 minutes and that usually is good for me.

So many chefs do it in different ways, just like people cook things in different ways. You can not skip decarb, or you’re not going to get high.

Chef Michellee Fox (09:04):

When the plant is on the ground, it’s all THCA, which is the fat, is what we call it, of THC. Now, when you put it in the oven or heat it up, cook it, that’s when it transforms into real THC.

You can find charts online of how long you want to decarboxylate. If you pass that time, then you start to kill all the good stuff that the cannabis have. Because it’s not just about getting high, it’s about the nutritious benefits that cannabis have.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (09:40):

Many chefs recommend starting to cook with cannabis using an infused oil, often coconut or olive oil. Stay tuned to our next episode for tips on how to infuse your food, plus we’ll share some of our chefs’ favorite cannabis recipes. For today’s High Five, Tips for Cooking with Cannabis.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (10:01):

Number one: Relax and have fun. Don’t let big words intimidate you and know that you get to decide how intoxicating to make your food.

Number two: Consider how you want to feel. Do you want a cookie to nibble on that will help you get a good night’s sleep? Or would you rather make a salad dressing to spice up your dinner? Start with a low percentage of THC, and remember when you eat cannabis, it can take one to two hours to feel the effects.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (10:28):

Number three: Pay attention to dosage. Start with a cookbook like The 420 Gourmet or The Art of Weed Butter. I’ll link to them in the show notes. These chefs have done the work in the test kitchen to help you navigate how much weed to add to your dishes.

Number four: Do strains matter? Cannabis is a plant, so different strains might work best to make particular foods. Think of it as another herb.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (10:53):

Next, choose your ratio of CBD to THC, and have fun finding a strain that appeals to your body’s unique endocannabinoid system. Try to smell it if you can.

Number five: Cook the weed. Decarboxylation is just heating the weed in the oven. It’s how you activate the plant to bring on the feelings of intoxication, relaxation, pain relief, or whatever you’re looking for.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (11:17):

Today’s strain pick is Chef Michellee’s favorite, Harley Tsu. Harley Tsu, that’s T-S-U, is a high CBD, low THC strain that promotes feelings of happiness and relaxation. It’s a cross between Harlequin, which is one of How To Do The Pot’s 12 Essential Strains every woman should have in her stash, and Sour Tsunami.

It helps with pain, inflammation, stress, and most women find it very calming. It smells like walking through a forest, earthy and piney, and will be listed as a hybrid in most dispensaries. For more on Harlequin, check out episode 28.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (11:54):

For today’s podcast recs, I like Call Your Girlfriend, hosted by Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow. Episode 299 is called The Other Epidemic.

As we emerge back into the world, how long will we live with COVID? And will it be like HIV-AIDS? And How To Do The Pot recommendation, Eat Well, Travel Often, hosted by Melissa Goldberg, an interview with JeffThe420Chef, one of the nation’s first private chefs to cook with cannabis-infused meals.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (12:25):

Thank you for listening to How To Do The Pot. You can find us on Instagram @DoThePot, and for lots more information and past episodes, visit Thanks to April Pride, Madi Fair, our brand manager, and our producer, Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon, and we’ll be back soon with more of How To Do The Pot.



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