Cannabis in Food
When someone says cannabis-infused food, you probably automatically think of the brownies, cookies, gummies, and candies that you can find in many dispensaries and novelty shops. But edibles are more than just treats. As we become more tolerant and receptive to cannabis, we also become more creative in incorporating cannabis into our dishes. In fact, it’s no longer uncommon to see cannabis-friendly, fine-dining restaurants that serve scrumptious dishes infused with cannabis extracts in some legal states. These cannabis restaurants not only serve delectable cuisine, but they also allow their guests to smoke inside their premises.
However, ingenuity with cannabis and cooking is not a new concept. Different cultures around the world have used cannabis in their foods for centuries and some of these dishes, or variations on them, exist today.
When traveling the world, even in countries where cannabis is theoretically illegal, you can often find hidden edible gems.
India’s Bhang Lassi
Bhang Lassi is ancient cannabis-infused milk or yogurt drink from India. It is a very rich, traditional drink that’s popular for its aroma, flavor, and potent effects. As part of their spiritual rituals, people from India would drink Bhang Lassi to help them meditate and communicate with Lord Shiva. They would also drink Bhang Lassi to treat nerve problems, infections, and skin diseases.
Today, Bhang Lassi is still very much a part of India’s culture. It’s a popular drink during holidays and festivals, and it’s also served in many cafés that cater to tourists. So if ever you visit the country, a glass of Bhang Lassi can complete your tour.
If you can’t wait to try Bhang Lassi out, then here’s an easy recipe that you can follow.
1/2 ounce of your favorite cannabis strain.
2 cups of whole milk or cream.
1 cup of boiled water.
1 tablespoon of coconut milk.
2 tablespoons of different seeds, blanched and chopped. These can be almonds, pistachios, cannabis or hemp, pumpkin, cashew, melon, or watermelon.
1/2 teaspoon of Garam Masala. This is a spice blend that’s made up of 1/8 teaspoon each of fennel, coriander, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, cardamom, clove, and cumin.
Honey, to taste.
- Soak the seeds in water for about two hours to rehydrate them before chopping them into small pieces for easier extraction of their juice.
- Boil some water in a small pot. Once it’s boiling, remove from heat and add the cannabis buds. Let the buds steep in the hot water for about 10 minutes before draining the water with a strainer. The heat will activate the cannabinoids.
- Place the buds in your mortar and pestle and add about a couple of tablespoons of warm milk. Grind the mixture finely. Once done, strain the mixture with cheesecloth, pour the juice in a separate container, and set aside. You need to repeat the process for about five times until you have about half a cup of cannabis-infused milk.
- Add the seeds and a couple of teaspoons of warm milk to the buds in the mortar and pestle and finely grind the mixture. Similar to step #3, squeeze the juice out with a cheesecloth and set aside. Repeat for about five times.
- In a tall glass, combine the extracts together (from #3 and #4), add the spices and a little water, and stir the mixture thoroughly. Add honey to taste and top it off with a dollop of sour cream. Serve chilled.
Cambodia’s Happy Pizza
Another famous cannabis-infused food from around the world is Cambodia’s Happy Pizza. It’s an adult take on everybody’s favorite comfort food; with a little oomph…or more oomph depending on the “level of highness” that you chose. Similar to Bhang Lassi, Happy Pizza is sold in many restaurants across the country and is also a popular must-try among tourists. Reportedly you can also order a Happy Pizza with a side of rolling papers, in which case they just bring you weed and rollies. The Pizza is a more subtle approach to consumption and will likely get you far more stoned than smoking so be warned!
You can also create your own Happy Pizza at home. You can even choose the level of potency that you want for your happy food.
1 ounce of your favorite cannabis strain.
An oven-ready pizza.
1 cup of mozzarella.
Toppings of choice, if you still want to add more toppings to your oven-ready pizza.
- Preheat oven to about 450°F to 5000°F.
- Using a cannabis grinder, coffee grinder, knife, food processor, blender, or other similar devices, grind the buds into fine, even pieces.
- Add the cheese and extra toppings to the oven-ready pizza.
- Spread the finely-ground buds on the pizza.
- Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until your Happy Pizza turns golden brown. Serve hot.
Of note; instead of finely-ground buds, you can also drizzle about two tablespoons of cannabis oil or extract over the pizza. Just make sure that you spread the oil evenly.
Amsterdam’s Space Cakes
A visit to Amsterdam is not complete without having some Space Cakes. Space Cakes are cannabis-infused pastries, cakes, tarts, éclairs, bread, or anything, really, that you can infuse with weed. The real thing is available in coffee shops, and you can choose one based on the type of strain it contains or it’s level of potency.
The rules and regulations surrounding Space Cakes are somewhat confusing and make finding one that will actually get you high a bit of a challenge. The rules state that they must have physical pieces of cannabis in them, not the oil or butter. This method of adding THC to food is far less effective than the oil or butter method and can make the taste much more… well, weedy. You will find many souvenir shops claiming to sell space cakes but don’t be fooled. A real space cake will not come in a barcoded package but rather will look like a homemade baked good.
You don’t have to go to Amsterdam to enjoy Space Cakes though. You can easily bake one at home and don’t even have to be an expert in baking to make this delicious cannabis-infused cake.
1 cup of sugar.
1-3/4 cups of flour.
1 cup cannabutter or less, depending on your preference or cannabutter potency. You can also use pieces of cannabis flower as they do in some of the coffeeshops but butter is way more effective.
1/2 cup of milk.
Flavorings of choice. These can be chocolate chips, fruits, vanilla, nuts, cocoa, peanut butter, etc.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Add all dry ingredients together (sugar and flour) in one bowl. In another bowl, add the wet ingredients (eggs, milk, and melted cannabutter).
- Pour the dry ingredients into the mixture and mix thoroughly until the batter has a smooth texture.
- Once done, add all your flavorings and mix well.
- Grease your cake pan and pour in the batter. Spread evenly.
- Bake your Space Cake for about half an hour. To check if the cake is done, simply insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, then your Space Cake is done. Let it cool before serving.
You can also top your cake off with frosting of choice – chocolate ganache, buttercream, cream cheese, whipped cream, etc.
How to Experience International Cannabis Foods
You don’t have to go to another country to sample their famous cannabis foods. You don’t even have to go to a weed-friendly restaurant. The internet is teeming with recipes for international dishes that you can cook or bake at home. You only have to add a few drops of your favorite cannabis extract to turn the dish into something extra special, however, nothing beats traveling the world and experiencing the real thing!