The Best Cannabis Cookbooks for Budding Chefs – The Manual

On the day before the most important marijuana-related holiday, 4/20, we thought it would be appropriate to look at some of the best cookbooks that utilize the sticky icky in their recipes. Whether or not you’re a budding chef, these books will both satiate and give you the munchies. The thing about cooking with weed — you may or may not be surprised by this — is that it’s about more than just brownies. Chefs around the country (and around the world) have used cannabis to take the flavor profiles of various dishes (from salad dressings to desserts) higher, if you will.

Remember: Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, and has been decriminalized in some states but not others. Though CBD has generally been accepted.

With that warning out of the way, put away weed accessories and light up the stove because it’s time to get baked using the best cannabis cooking books.

More Cookbooks

Bong Appétit by the Editors of Munchies

Bong Appétit by the Editors of Munchies

Apart from having the most clever name of any cannabis cookbook, Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed is also the smartest of weed anthologies. A sophisticated guide for refined dishes (hello, rib eye with weed chimichurri), you’ll also find downright timeless recipes for foods that always sound delicious (French bread pizza, spinach and artichoke dip risotto, and raspberry and peach pie). Add to the educative mix a ditty about how to buy the right kush for cooking and a bit of marijuana politics chit-chat around the still-somewhat-taboo subject. After all, the book was inspired by a TV show by Vice.

Edibles by Stephanie Hua

Edibles by Stephanie Hua

The funny thing about edibles is they (can) mess you up real good. For the foodie who dabbles in a spliff every now and then (as opposed to heavy-hit vaping) check out Edibles: Small Bites for the Modern Cannabis Kitchen for bite-size cannabis noshes that are low-dose. In other words, the creations and tastes take priority over the high. If you’re a newbie around the kitchen, make Spiced Superfood Truffles. An expert? Whip up Strawberry Jam Pavlovas. Multi-level and dose-conscious, this cannabis cookbook is also oddly perfect to share with mom and grandma (come on, we all know they toke).

Cooking With Cannabis by Laurie Wolf

Cooking With Cannabis by Laurie Wolf

When The New Yorker called Laurie Wolf “The Martha Stewart of Marijuana,” they were doing so with the utmost praise. (Although isn’t Martha Stewart herself the Martha Stewart of marijuana?) Wolf’s 70 weed recipes in Cooking With Cannabis: Delicious Recipes for Edibles and Everyday Favorites are wholesome, soulful, and upscale enough to find at a five-star restaurant. Skipping the goofy cannabis slang, quotes, and puns (she’s better than us), this cookbook does an amazing job at calling out the benefits of marijuana for treating or relieving the symptoms of illnesses like cancer, anxiety, and depression. In that, Wolf elaborates on various strains of marijuana and even offers freezing tips.

Sweet Mary Jane by Karin Lazarus

Sweet Mary Jane by Karin Lazarus

On the other side of Manhattan, New York Magazine was dubbing Karin Lazarus “The Martha Stewart of weed baking,” with her high-end dank dessert recipes from Sweet Mary Jane: 75 Delicious Cannabis-Infused High-End Desserts. We don’t care how many Marijuana Marthas there are, as long as we can try every sugary tart, cupcake, sorbet, pudding, truffle, and pastry on the block. These 75 recipes taken from Lazarus’ bakery in Boulder, Colorado, call for premium medical-grade marijuana and beg to be served at your next ritzy dinner party. For now, we’ll dub her the Betty Crocker of Marijuana (don’t want to confuse the stoners) and tease you with the promise of making THC-infused sugar for Smashing Pumpkin White Chocolate-Pumpkin Bars.

Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics by Warren Bobrow

If your kitchen utensils consist of a shaker, muddler, and bar spoon, whip up some cannabis cocktails with the straightforwardly named recipe book: Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics. Author Warren Bobrow walks through the totally cool and geeky process of de-carbing cannabis to release its psychoactive effect while laying down the history of cannabis as a social drug. The name of this cannabis cookbook should have been: How to drink cannabis for every meal, since it includes coffee, tea, lemonade, mood-enhancing syrups, and — of course — cocktails.

Baked: Over 50 Tasty Marijuana Treats by Yzabetta Sativa

Baked: Over 50 Tasty Marijuana Treats by Yzabetta Sativa

The predecessor of cookbook Baked 2, the original installment is a great place to begin cooking with cannabis because it’s completely honest about the herb in question. Marijuana is a spicy, harsh-tasting plant that is difficult to cook with because of its flakey consistency and inability to dissolve in water. Alas, chef Yzabetta Sativa (that has to be a fake last name), is here to teach you how to counteract the negative qualities of that good sensimilla and bake marijuana treats like Lavender Love Bites, Aloha Hawaiian Bread, and Baked Fudge.

The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook

If you’re already paranoid about wasting good chronic by burning the magic butter, look to the pros at High Times to get you through. If anyone knows how to get baked while baking, it’s this band of stoners. Appetizers, entrees, desserts, cocktails, and even holiday feasts, all in a demystified, simple language that turns you into a budding chef … get it? Some recipes in The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook: More Than 50 Irresistible Recipes That Will Get You High are even inspired by celebrity stoners like Snoop and Willie Nelson.

Article originally published March 28, 2019.

Editors’ Recommendations


Cannabutter – The Top 10 Tips You Need to Know – Total Food Service

cannabutter pot butter
HMG Plus October 2020 728×90

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.

Icesurance January 2020 728×90

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.

cannabis marijuana

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.

marijuana edibles pot brownie4. 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
  • Sunflower

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

Cannabutter Cooking Calculator

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

chocolate chip pot cookies marijuana8. 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.

Safety tips:

  • 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.


The Science Behind Cooking With Cannabis – Complex

Cooking with cannabis has evolved beyond the edibles of our youth, which were often viewed as a delivery vehicle for an intense high rather than a legitimate culinary pursuit. While marijuana hasn’t yet been legalized on a federal level, recent developments, including the legalization of industrial hemp, have ushered in a more subtle approach to cooking with cannabis—one that focuses on using the herb to enhance a meal rather than overshadow it.

Chef Miguel Trinidad says the gradual de-stigmatization of cannabis has had a measurable impact on people’s openness toward experimenting with it in the kitchen. “I’ve seen a massive shift in the way people perceive cannabis,” he explains. “More people are open to exploring it.”

“I’ve seen a massive shift in the way people perceive cannabis. More people are open to exploring it.”​​​​​

Trinidad is best known for his Filipino cuisine at Maharlika and Jeepney, both critical darling restaurants of the New York dining scene. Along with partner Doug Cohen, the Dominican chef launched 99th floor as a series of secret marijuana-infused dinner parties in 2015, and four years later, it has evolved into a full-fledged edible enterprise that he hopes will help make cooking with cannabis become the new normal.

“We not only provide a great meal for like-minded individuals who believe in the forward movement of de-stigmatizing cannabis, but we also create an experience for people,” Trinidad says of the private dinners.

Trinidad shared his thoughts on the rapid transformation of the edible scene, gave us some insight into the science behind choosing the right strain for your meal, and revealed the secret to saving yourself from the abyss if you’ve overindulged.

Choose a strain that suits the flavor profile of your dish.

Trinidad insists that each strain of cannabis should be understood as a unique ingredient, just like any other herb.

“Whenever I’m cooking a meal that involves cannabis, my menu is determined by the strain that I’m using, so I take it and I make that the star,” he explains. “It’s just like if I picked a bunch of basil and I was going to make pesto, or I got some thyme and I was infusing that into chicken breast so I could get a nice flavor out of it.

“I determine what the flavor profile is by doing some research on the bud—going to Leafly, tasting it, smoking it, and seeing what it pairs well with it. We just don’t see it as, ‘I’m gonna make a chicken and throw some infused olive oil on it.’ That’s not the way I cook.”

Decarbing is crucial to getting the full benefits of the plant.

Decarboxylation, or decarbing, is a chemical process that removes carboxylic acid from cannabis, effectively activating its psychoactive benefits. There are several methods to achieve this, the simplest of which include heating the raw bud in the oven.

Trinidad believes decarbing is a crucial step when cooking. “If you’re not decarbing, all you’re doing is providing anti-inflammatory food,” Trinidad bluntly notes. “You’re not really releasing the medicine in the plant.”

Overdoing it on the decarbing can be just as damning. According to Trinidad, cannabis should be decarbed for several minutes at most. “If I’m making butter, I melt the butter, I add the flower, and I toss it for about five minutes. I pull off the flower. That’s gonna pull out my THC. If I wanna incorporate some flavor and get more of the terpenes out, I’m gonna let it steep for a little longer so I can pull out some of the plant matter. But if your butter is green, you overdid it.”

Construct your meal with the desired mood in mind.

Your culinary efforts can be quickly derailed by faulty dosing. If you don’t want to be caught under the dinner table, aim to deliver a slow build (a crescendo, if you will) rather than a higher dose that might hit like the onset of a panic attack.

“We direct people’s moods,” Trinidad says of the dining experience at 99th Floor.

“We want people by the third course to feel really nice. We start off with a cocktail that’s infused with a tincture, that adjusts to kickstart your endocannabinoid system. And then we bring in the first course, which I’ll use an oil or fat or some method that will kick into your system a little quicker than the third course, which will slow everything down. So, by the time you hit course three, you’re feeling nice. Your cheeks hurt a little bit because you’re smiling too much. The people around you are laughing.

“It works because I’m using science to understand how the endocannabinoid system works and how I can get into your system much quicker, but still providing a low dose so you don’t feel uncomfortable and you’re enjoying the experience.” At the end of the day—and meal—that’s what matters most.