Most are likely familiar with pot brownies, but what about pot oatmeal? Pot French toast? Desirey Vallejos, manager and master baker at Grass Roots Rx, is no stranger to the different forms edibles can come in. With the start of legal recreational cannabis sales in New Mexico on Friday, April 1, she offered new ways to ingest THC beyond the normal range of baked goods, both in what she sells at her shop and what individuals can make at home.
Most medical patients are typically looking for something discreet and cost-effective, according to Vallejos, which she attempts to deliver.
“Recreationally, I’ll start expanding as far as (the) things that we carry because the consumer’s not looking at it as a medicine; they’re looking to have fun,” Vallejos said.
Vallejos, who comes from a culinary background, recently created a cannabis agave syrup that can be used as a sugar substitute and is working on an ice cream. She also has savory edibles, like salad dressing and trail mix.
While edibles — or drinkables, like an Arnold Palmer made with a dose of cannabis lemonade — are certainly exciting, Vallejos urged consumers to be patient. Just like taking a pill, she said, consuming edibles on an empty stomach can make you feel sick and push you away from the beneficial effects of cannabis.
“Start low and see how it makes you feel, then see where you want to go from there,” Vallejos said.
Tips on making your own edibles
Even with all kinds of edibles available now that recreational sales are open, users may want to try making their own edibles at home. Vallejos said there’s a key factor in making them taste delicious: the quality of the THC oil used in baking.
Vallejos explained that crude oil, the cheapest “bottom of the batch” oil, is often extracted from the cannabis plant with butane, propane or even Everclear, leading to a chemical, weedy flavor. Distillate oil, which is more refined, is the best option.
When crude oil is the only option, Vallejos recommended using something like dark chocolate to mask the taste. The fat source in the dish can also help with the flavor.
“When I was using the Crock-Pot method when I first started, I would use butter, avocado oil or grapeseed oil, because they have a distinctive taste so it would help break down the taste of the cannabis,” Vallejos said.
These different fats are responsible for making sure the THC is evenly distributed throughout the recipe. She also said the temperature the edible is being cooked at is key.
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“You can’t have it above 350 degrees or it’s going to burn off a lot of the THC compounds, your terpenes, your cannabinoid profiles and things like that,” Vallejos said.
She suggested incorporating THC into foods that aspiring home chefs already enjoy. Her personal favorite creation is a strawberry cheesecake bar.
“If you love a chocolate chip cookie, try it in a chocolate chip cookie,” Vallejos said.
Nell Johnson is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @peachnells