Cooking with cannabis: known by all, loved by many. However, beyond the all too familiar space cake, there is a whole world of exciting dishes! Wondering how that happened? Cannabis is native to regions all over the world, so it grew freely in many countries. Therefore, in those countries there has been a culture of cooking with this aromatic plant for centuries. Peoples of China, Mongolia, Russia, India and Europe discovered long ago how to cultivate the plant for better quality and seed production. Also in North and South America natives knew cannabis as food. Omnomnom.
Cannabis butter or cannabis oil
The easiest and most widely known way to integrate cannabis in a recipe, is by dissolving the active substances in something fat, such as oil, butter, or Indian ghee. This way your body can absorb these cannabinoids effectively. Moreover, you can use oil or butter in almost any dish, which comes in handy. Maybe you’re familiar with the technique of dissolving cannabinoids in fat for making brownies or space cake. An example of a traditional recipe that is prepared with this base is Indian bhang.
'Bhang' is perhaps a rather alarming name for a drink, but not to worry: this creamy liquid will just give you a nice buzz. According to food historians, this beverage dates back to tenth century India, when people discovered the drugging properties of cannabis sativa. To make bhang, you simmer the leaves and buds of the plant in butter or ghee and then mix it with milk and spices. The sweet version is most popular, but there are also savory versions. The drink is popular during the colorful Indian festival Holi. During this festival , the usual ghee in traditional Indian dishes such as pakora, bhaji and samosas, is sometimes replaced by bhang ghee. So be careful what you stuff your face with.
Wanna be the star of the party by serving up your home-brewed bhang? Ingredients:
- 1 to 2 grams of ground cannabis or hashish
- 2 cups milk
- 3 grams butter
- A pinch of spices like nutmeg and cinnamon
- Honey (optional)
- Vodka (optional)
Heat a saucepan on the stove and gently melt the butter. Then add the crushed pot and stir well with a wooden spoon. Let the pot simmer in the butter gently, for a minute or so. Then add the milk and stir again thoroughly. Reduce heat even more and allow the mixture to slowly heat up. Do not boil. Finally, you add some spices and maybe some honey (and if you want something rough a shot of vodka). All set!
Majoun is a kind of paste or jam, which consist of marijuana or hashish, raisins, nuts, honey, spices, and sometimes dates, figs and rose water. This fragrant mixture can be spread on crackers or cookies, or you can make balls of it, which you roll in sesame seeds or chopped nuts.
I present to you a tasty recipe for delicious sweet snack balls made of Majoun:
- 1-3 grams of hashish, finely ground
- 200 grams butter
- 1.5 cups nuts (for example a mixture of cashews, walnuts, almonds and pistachios)
- 100 figs gram
- 100 grams of dates
- 150 grams of honey (or agave syrup)
- 50 ml (roses) water
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp black pepper
First make hashish butter: put the oven on a low heat (100-120 degrees) and put a baking dish with the butter and hashish in the oven for half an hour. Finely chop the nuts, figs and dates (chopping the nuts with the pulsing mode of a food processor works nicely, if you have one). Save a small handful of nuts for the coating.
Pour the melted butter into a mixing bowl and stir in the salt and the spices. Mix the remaining ingredients (except for some of those nuts) and add some more water if the mixture is too dry and crumbly. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for half an hour. Take the majoun out again, and make small balls. Roll them in the remaining nut mixture.
Chinese toasted hemp seeds
In Asia, especially the hemp seeds are popular. Inhabitants of the Nepalese countryside have been using locally produced oil of hemp seeds for cooking for generations. In many remote and isolated areas, this oil is even the only type of vegetable oil used in food. In Japan ground toasted hemp seeds are used in spicy spice mixtures as Shichimi Togarashi and Nanami Togarashi. In China hemp seeds, raw or roasted, are eaten since the dawn of time. The roasted seeds are a popular snack at parties, a bit like popcorn here. You can also taste this delicacy at market stalls, in certain parts of China. Making the roasted seeds is very simple:
- 100 grams of hemp seeds
- 2 tsp oil
Heat the seeds about five minutes in a frying pan over medium heat. Make sure you stir well so the seeds don’t burn. Add the oil and salt (not too shabby), mix well and remove from heat.
Lithuanian hemp porridge
Savoury hemp porridge, served with baked or boiled unpeeled potatoes, is a typical old Lithuanian dish. Lithuanians call this dish Kanapiø Koðë, but that is their affair. Toasted hemp seeds are a condiment for various foods in Lithuania, particularly for potatoes. In this recipe, the seeds are roasted and then ground into a fine powder. The powder can then be added to a simmered gruel of salt, pepper, flour and onion. Let’s say it's something different for a change. Try on your own risk:
- 1 cup of hemp seeds
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1,5 cup water
- Pinch of salt and pepper
Stir fry the hemp seeds gently in a frying pan for five minutes. Then grind the seeds into a fine powder, using for example a mortar or a coffee grinder. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add flour, onion, salt and pepper. Stir and let the mixture simmer for a minute or five. Remove the pan from the heat, add the hemp powder, and stir well. Serve in bowls with hot potatoes, fried or cooked in their skins.
Did you develop an appetite reading all these recipes? Do you feel like cooking something up? You can find inspiration in one of the cannabis cookbooks that are now for sale! For example, there is The Cannabis Cookbook, The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook and Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis. Especially this last one is recommended as a great basic cookbook. It was written by the creators of the website Herb.co who came up with the brilliant idea to fill more than 200 pages of recipes for both novice and experienced space chefs. Perhaps a great gift idea?
Author: Sara de Waal