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High for the Holidays: Cannabis-Infused Recipes for Arizonans Stuck at Home This Year

High for the Holidays: Cannabis-Infused Recipes for Arizonans Stuck at Home This YearEXPAND
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By forgoing large family gatherings and parties this year due to COVID, many of us are staring down a dull 2020 holiday season. How to spice it up?

With pot, maybe.

Recreational marijuana has been approved by Arizona voters, but for a few more months the 280,000 of us in the state with medical marijuana cards are the only ones that can legally purchase pot. I’ll be taking advantage of my patient status and whipping up a decadent Thanksgiving dinner that incorporates cannabis into the mix. In fact, I’ve already done a trial run to share with you.

A few things to note before we dive into some recipes:

*The Phoenix area is home to a number of dispensaries that carry medicated ingredients that make cooking a potent, THC-infused feast simple. I recommend using some of these ingredients (see below) to lessen the amount of manual infusion you have to do.

*Bear in mind that dispensary inventories are subject to change. I suggest checking Leafly, calling ahead of time to confirm availability, and pre-ordering when possible.

*While almost any dish can be infused with pot, food with fat helps your body absorb THC more efficiently — meaning you’re more likely to get higher. For those new to edibles, remember that it’s always best to start with lower doses of THC. You can always add more, but you can never take away from what you ingest — and edibles have a tendency to come on stronger than smoking does. Best to “start low and go slow,” as they say.

To ensure dosing is completely correct when I do infuse myself, I use dispensary-purchased distillate (instead of flower) to make my own medicated olive oil. The recipe is super-easy:

Simple canna-butter/oil

Ingredients:

1 cup of desired oil, butter, or ghee
½ cup distillate syringe (500 mg of THC, but can be adjusted as needed for tolerance)

You can use almost any oil of your choosing. You can also use ghee or butter. I decided to go with olive oil.

I initially had a tough time finding distillate that wasn’t in cartridge form. Luckily, both Herbal Wellness Center locations in Phoenix carry Vapen Clear (their name for distillate) in 1,000-milligram syringes that are perfect for dosing. They have quite a few strain-based flavor selections as well as a Raw distillate that’s their most flavorless. Seeking the most subtle-tasting cannabis oil possible, I went with Raw.

Raw distillate from Vapen Clear.
Raw distillate from Vapen Clear.
Vapen Clear

Directions:

On a low heat setting, heat up your oil on the stovetop in a small pot. Stir occasionally.

Run your syringe under warm water for a few seconds to make it easier to use (optional). Once oil is slightly warm, squeeze half the distillate syringe (500 mg) into the pot of oil, stirring frequently.

Once oil and distillate are nicely mixed, turn off stove and let cool.

Canna-honey butter

Ingredients:

1 cup salted butter, softened
2-4 tablespoons of canna-honey
2-4 tablespoons powdered sugar
¾ tablespoon cinnamon

I infused my butter with HiBuddy Honey, which I snagged at Valley of the Sun in west Phoenix, but can be found all over the Phoenix area at dispensaries like Emerald Dispensary, Territory Dispensary, Curaleaf, JARS Cannabis, and more. (Other medicated honey alternatives I came across include Amy & Al’s honey from White Mountain Health and Flourish’s Honey in the Dank, which I found at Debbie’s and Herbal Wellness Center.) You can’t go wrong with this delicious honey butter; it goes great on rolls, biscuits, sweet potatoes, and other delicious holiday carbs.

Directions:

Blend together canna-honey, salted butter, powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Serve immediately or chill until served.

Medicated maple vinaigrette dressing

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
? cup medicated olive oil

I made a spinach and arugula salad dressing and topped it with my fall favorite — maple vinaigrette dressing. To get some THC into the mix, I added some of the canna-oil to the dressing.

Directions:

Combine maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar in a bowl and mix until well blended.

Slowly add medicated olive oil to mixture, stirring until combined.

And here’s the salad recipe, if you’re interested:

5 oz. baby spinach
5 oz. baby arugula
½ cup of pecans or nuts of your choice
1 apple, thinly sliced
¼ cup of feta cheese

Herb Butter Turkey

Ingredients:

12-20 lb. turkey; start thawing a few days before you plan on cooking
8 oz. cannabutter, room temperature
1 apple, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
1 onion, peeled and quartered
4-8 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh sage
Fresh thyme
Fresh parsley
Fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper

Yilo Superstore carries both sativa and indica butters. I went with indica to infuse my turkey.

I also used one full tub of cannabutter to make this recipe. Keep in mind that leaving the foil on for most of the cooking process helps keep the THC butter from losing its potency, but be sure that your turkey gets some time to brown with the foil off.

Directions:

Remove the neck and giblets from inside the turkey. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Move the oven rack so the turkey will sit in the center of the oven.

Season the turkey inside the cavity generously with salt and pepper

Chop one tablespoon of parsley, one tablespoon of rosemary, one tablespoon of thyme, and a half teaspoon of sage, saving the rest of the herbs.

Combine cannabutter, chopped herbs, salt and pepper, and minced garlic to make an herb butter.

Stuff the turkey’s cavity with the remaining herbs, lemon, apple, and onion.

Loosen the skin on top of the turkey and rub a generous amount of herb butter underneath, at least a few tablespoons.

Tuck the turkey wings underneath and place on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Twine the turkey legs together at the ankle.

Lightly microwave remaining herb butter, about 30 seconds or until softened. Baste the entire turkey with remaining herb butter.

Cover with foil and roast for 15 minutes per pound or until the turkey reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally. Remove foil an hour before the turkey is finished roasting.

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie (inspired by Little Miss BBQ)

Ingredients:

1 pie crust, store-bought or homemade
? cup medicated chocolate or chocolate chips
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz.)
3 eggs
1 ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 and ½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ground
½ teaspoon salt
? teaspoon pepper
? teaspoon cloves, ground

My favorite barbecue joint in town, Little Miss BBQ, recently released a seasonal Nutella pumpkin pie that is absolutely delicious. I had to replicate it; it’s easily one of the best pies I’ve ever had.

At Ponderosa Releaf, I came across Flourish’s Chocolate Kushes, which are like medicated chocolate chips. (GreenPharms carries them, too, according to Leafly.) They seemed ideal for infusing a chocolate pumpkin pie. If you can’t find these kushes, any medicated chocolate bar will do. (Be careful melting your chocolate down!)

High for the Holidays: Cannabis-Infused Recipes for Arizonans Stuck at Home This Year
Flourish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, and brown sugar. Once well-combined, add spices, cream, milk, and cornstarch. Keep whisking until all ingredients are combined.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat up chocolate in microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds, stirring again. If not fully melted, microwave in 10-second increments, stirring in between until completely melted.

Smooth a layer of melted chocolate on the bottom of the pie crust and add the pumpkin pie filling directly on top until pie crust is about ¾ full.

Swirl remaining chocolate through top of pumpkin pie, adding as much as desired.

Bake pie for about 55 minutes. It should then rest outside of the oven for at least 3 hours.

Happy medicating!

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