Article contributed by Kind Meds
The new buzz in the foodservice industry is cooking with cannabis. Marijuana is legal in almost all U.S. states now, either for medical reasons or recreational use. As the flower blooms in America, more and more people are seeking edibles and, in some places, looking for restaurants and food services that offer these food infusions.
Hemp is a game changer for the nationwide U.S. food industry, appealing to business owners, executive chefs and all those in the foodservice industry. Getting on board by cultivating cannabutter is a great way to break into this lucrative market. Here are some tips you need to know about cannabutter.
Cooking with Cannabutter
Cannabis is the fastest growing industry in America. The new topic on every chef’s mind is the concept of marijuana food.
Marijuana restaurants and public eateries in both Canada and the U.S. are being sought after, and professional chefs are already learning how to use cannabis cooking oil and cannabutter.
1. Consider Your Clientele
Attitudes towards marijuana differ in the country and among states. However, our nation is progressing in both conservative and liberal perspectives about the herb.
Even red states historically known as part of the Bible-belt have voted to jump on the bandwagon of change. The people have spoken with chads of legislation for medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.
Considering whether it’s time for your piece of real estate to enter the cannabis market takes a knowledge of the area you service.
2. How You Can Use Cannabutter
Cannabutter is the perfect way to edge into the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) trend because it goes anywhere butter goes. Cooking with butter is an easily controlled and potentially far-reaching way to infuse recipes and upgrade pan cooking.
Basically, anything you would use butter in, you can use cannabutter in. Any recipe calling for butter can be adapted simply by substituting in cannabutter.
3. Making Cannabutter
You cannot make cannabutter with raw cannabis. Putting raw cannabis in recipes will not allow the range of plant cannabinoids to bind to fat.
When you prepare marijuana foods, it is important to activate the cannabinoids. Otherwise, your recipes will be rendered flat, lacking the desirable buzz and not true edibles.
The first thing chefs must do is to decarboxylate the buds. This process activates THC and cannabidiol (CBD).
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is the anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and non-psychoactive components naturally found in marijuana. Activating THCA with heat decarboxylates the flower and turns it into THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Decarboxylation: The process of activating THCA with heat and turning it into THC.
Decarboxylation is as easy as grinding the flower coarsely and roasting it in the oven. Cooking at too high a temperature can compromise the integrity of the cannabinoids, so an hour at 210-220 degrees is recommended.
4. Churning Butter into Cannabutter
After the herb is decarboxylated, the butter must be melted together with the herb.
Crockpots and slow cookers are an excellent choice for cooking cannabutter. Cannabutter requires a slow steady temperature for an extended period of time.
Other options for cooking cannabutter are:
- Using a double boiler on a stovetop
- Using an herbal infuser
After cooking the butter and scraping off the coagulated top layer, you should have attained the look of nice healthy popcorn butter.
Use high quality organic butter to avoid impurities. Traditional recipes often call for unsalted butter; alternatively, you could use salted butter for a higher smoke point.
5. Clarifying and Emulsifying
There are two things to look for in choosing or making cannabutter, whether it has been clarified and emulsified.
Tips on what to look for include:
- The cannabutter should be the same nice yellow color all the way through
- Look for a homogenous product with solidity
To achieve clarity, the cooked product is best gently filtered with cheesecloth. The cook should let gravity do the work and not squeeze the cheesecloth. Patient straining will allow the best oil to pour through and avoid too much plant materials seeping into the mixture.
Some sources recommend using an emulsifier so there is no uneven distribution. Emulsifiers work best in powder form. The best choices for emulsifiers are:
- Soy lecithin
Evenness is important especially when working in mass supply. You don’t want butter settling in one place and hemp in another.
Combine and stir cannabis and butter thoroughly, and mix cannabutter thoroughly when added to your recipe. It is vital to evenly distribute cannabis in your food product.
6. Ratios and Measurements
Your guests want something original, something unique and delicious, and you want to keep them coming back for more. These are some of the important reasons executive chefs and restaurant owners are meticulous about proper ratios.
You don’t want to over do it and drench your menu items in marijuana. And at the same time you want to give customers a taste of why people seek edibles.
Cannabis Cooking Calculator
Getting the potency right involves a sprinkle of math. To make it a cinch, we have found this easy-to-use cannabutter dosage calculator.
To use this cannabutter cooking calculator, simply enter the amount of cannabis and the number of servings, and voilà!
When considering pure butter in a recipe, remember a portion of the butter will be cooked and scraped off the top. Often in a cannabis restaurant, chefs use one-third more butter than called for.
7. How to Store Cannabutter
Whether you buy cannabutter elsewhere or make it yourself, you need to know how it should be stored.
Here are some helpful tips on storing the tasty treat:
- What you don’t use immediately should be stored in the refrigerator
- Cannabutter can be frozen like regular butter
- Glass containers are best for storing
- For a quality finished product, ensure there is no rusty look on the bottom of the container
8. Upgrade Your Safety Standards
Consumers are often tempted to eat more of the recommended portion size, especially when food is delicious. Creating a safety guide for your clientele protects them and you.
- Make a QA sheet of safety standards for cooking with cannabis
- Offer a safety guide for consumers
- Make it clear on your menu which products contain cannabis
- Recommend consumption amounts for customers
9. Understand the Farm Bill
Hemp cultivation has been legal in New York since 2015 for research use. Now that Governor Andrew Cuomo promises the full legalization of recreational marijuana is a priority this year in New York. Similar things are happening in other states.
Since President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill in December, hemp will likely be expanded as a mainstream commodity and be legal for transport throughout the 50 states.
With the cannabis industry worth billions, and the edible business expected to be worth more than 4 billion by 2022, food infusions have great potential for financial growth and investment.
Researching and staying up to date on the agricultural developments and laws influencing food practices is as important as ever for those a part of the foodservice industry.
10. Cash In on Hemp-Based Organic Foods
Everybody’s going organic. And it seems everybody wants to try marijuana or edibles. Now there is a safe and controlled way to offer it.
Manufacturers of beverages are already partaking. For example, Coca-Cola is buying into the industry and working to add cannabidiol (CBD) to Coke. Infusing soda with (a non-psychotropic) herb is no longer taboo.
Even restaurant operators are clamoring to get a piece of the pie.
Foodies and those exploring the world of food are looking for the hot new thing.
Soothing, calming and agreeable to the palate, cannabis palliatives bring delicious menus to new heights.
After discovering the tips and breakthroughs on cannabis-laden foods, all we can say is … butter me up, baby!
Kind Meds is a high quality medical marijuana dispensary located in Mesa, Arizona. Offering only the best in premium top-shelf cannabis concentrates, Kind Meds provides a range of unsurpassed products for those struggling with pain or illness. The team of experienced professionals guide customers in selecting the best cannabis strains for their specific needs. The mission of Kind Meds focuses on natural healing and pain relief for Arizona residents.