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Cooking with Cannabis

The new cookbook, Cooking With Cannabis, offers tips on healing and flavorful dishes
cooking with cannabis BUDDING CHEFS: Jessica Catalano's new cookbook provides a guide to cannabis meals that go beyond cookies and brownies.

The process of ingesting medical cannabis to relieve the symptoms of your medical condition really is the most natural, healthiest and effective way to ingest cannabis. Not only that, but when you ingest cannabis, the body breaks the THC into the psychoactive metabolite "11-Hydroxy-THC," which creates a stronger, longer-lasting and a fuller-body effect compared to the effects of smoked or vaporized medical cannabis.

This effect, paired with other cannabinoids, is ideal in treating medical conditions that require the management of symptoms over a longer period of time and require a strong medicine to control these symptoms.

Before you start cooking with cannabis, however, you need to educate yourself on two things. The first is the proper color of cannabutter. Some people believe that the greener it is, the better it is, but unfortunately, having nuclear-green cannabutter does not denote a "stronger" cannabutter with a higher "potency," as most patients are led to believe.

What it really means is that the butter has been cooked for a period of six hours to 24 hours, which in turn releases large amounts of chlorophyll into the butter as the cannabis breaks down. The color has nothing to do with the potency of your cannabutter but is instead a clear indication that it has been cooked too long. In order to avoid this, you simply need to keep the cooking time of cannabutter and oil down to one hour. This allows for the proper extraction of THC and other cannabinoids allowing the flavors and aromas of the bud you are using to infuse without becoming overtly bitter and acrid-smelling.

The result of cooking the cannabutter this way will produce a creamy, light-yellow-colored butter with a slight green hue. For the oils, the result of this cooking will produce a deep golden color for olive oil with a minor green hue and a creamy-white color for coconut oil with a light green hue.

Moroccan Mazar Lamb

Lamb is a common meat used in Moroccan cuisine, and in this dish it is flavored with an intricate array of spices and herbs. Most lamb is either cooked in a tajine, over the fire, stewed in a pot or baked into a pastilla. The robust sandalwood and pine flavors of Mazar* deepen and ripen the taste of the sauce. Whenever you are in need of an authentic spicy taste of Morocco, this is the dish for you.

Mise en place:

1 pound lamb shoulder chops

2 cloves minced garlic

1 white onion

1 tomato

2 cups water

1/2 small can tomato paste

4 tablespoons Basic Clarified Mazar Cannabutter * (with roughly 3.5 grams of Mazar strain)

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 tablespoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Sea salt and pepper

Coarsely chop the onion and add it to a stockpot with the 4 tablespoons Basic Clarified Mazar Cannabutter. Add all of the spices, herbs and garlic then saut on medium until the onions have reduced in size. Debone lamb shoulder then cut into cubes. Add the cubed lamb into the stockpot and saut until browned.

Chop up the tomato then add to the stockpot with 1/2 tomato paste from a small can and 2 cups water. Stir this mixture, then cover with a lid. Reduce the temperature down to low and simmer for 1 hour. Season with sea salt and pepper then serve over couscous.

Excerpted from Cooking With Cannabis by Jessica Catalano, author of The Ganja Kitchen Revolution: The Bible of Cannabis Cuisine. Green Candy Press will publish Cooking With Cannabis in November.