Many first-time experiences with cannabis edibles make for legendary campfire stories. While luckily enough, I’ve been (publicly) spared a Maureen Dowd edible moment, I take tetrahydrocannabinol(THC)- infused cuisine seriously. When I started experimenting with cannabis in the kitchen, I couldn’t understand how such a healing and versatile ingredient had been misused again and again. How did coma-inducing, high-sugar brownies reign as the king of edibles for so long?
If brownies, cookies and gummies aren’t exactly your idea of healthy eating, don’t worry, many other choices exist—like this vegan cannabis-infused pumpkin seed pesto. Besides the marijuana, it’s loaded with other healthy ingredients like pumpkin seeds, garlic, lemon juice and herbs.
Because THC is fat soluble, as long as cannabis is infused into butter or oil, the medicinal culinary options are limitless. By using products that are lab-tested and have THC doses properly labeled, and adjusting the use of the cannabis product based on your personal experience, the marijuana-infused cuisine of today should be an exploratory, positive and delicious experience.
For this recipe, I used the infused olive oil from Om Edibles. Since the Om Edibles oil has 15 mg of THC in every teaspoon, this entire recipe contains exactly 60 mg of THC. So, if divided by 12, each serving of this pumpkin seed pesto will have exactly 5 mg of THC. Everybody’s different, but many consumers have found that 5 mg is a relatively safe dose for exploring culinary cannabis and definitely a good place to start. I recommend trying half a teaspoon of the pesto on a cracker and waiting 1–2 hours before deciding to serve. As always, label cannabis-infused edibles clearly and enjoy.
Italian-style pesto sauce is a classic cannabis-infused dish you won’t see at your dispensary. Packed with verdant flavors, pesto perfectly complements (or even masks) the herbaceous addition of cannabis. The toasted pumpkin seeds, the replacement for the missing Parmesan cheese, delivers a debatably more memorable performance. The addition of nutritional yeast boosts the heartiness and balances the green flavors of basil, parsley and cannabis.
Heat a sauté pan with medium heat.
Spread raw pumpkin seeds across the pan and roast for 7–9 minutes. Pay close attention: The seeds should only brown slightly. When you hear seeds popping, remove from heat and allow to cool.
Combine basil, parsley, olive oil, cannabis olive oil, lemon juice, pumpkin seeds, garlic, nutritional yeast and salt into the bowl of your food processor. Process until well blended.
Photo credit: Caroline Attwood