Cooking with Cannabis

While most of us are well-versed in the art of pairing wine with food, the world of cannabis and culinary pairings offers a realm of untapped possibilities. Unlike wine, where our focus primarily revolves around flavor, with cannabis, it’s not just about the taste – it’s about the intricate interplay between flavors and effects.

In this blog, we’ll guide you through a delightful three-course meal featuring a mouthwatering harvest salad, succulent rosemary and maple roasted chicken, and indulgent chocolate whoopie pies courtesy of Lyndell’s Bakery, each with a cannabis recommendation to pair. Each product featured in this guide brings a unique aroma and flavor profile to the table, along with a variety of effects to help fuel your holiday festivities and set the perfect mood for your guests. Get ready to embrace a whole new world of creativity and flavor combinations as we unlock the potential of cannabis-infused dining.

Terpenes and Cannabinoids

Before we dive into the delicious holiday recipes, let’s talk about why cannabis pairs so well with food. Two main components of cannabis that can help elevate your dining experience are terpenes and cannabinoids. Terpenes are responsible for the flavor and scent of cannabis, while cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, are responsible for the psychoactive and physical effects users experience. Let’s explore these elements below and discover how they can help guide your cannabis pairings.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in a variety of plants, such as herbs, flowers, fruit, and cannabis, that create distinct scent and flavor profiles. While there are many terpenes found in nature, some commonly discussed ones in cannabis are Limonene, Pinene, Myrcene, Caryophyllene, and Humulene, among others.
  • Limonene – As the name suggests, limonene is responsible for the citrusy scent in fruits such as lemons and oranges, as well as popular cannabis strains like Gas Cake.
  • Pinene – This terpene is associated with the fresh and crisp scent of plants like pine trees, basil, rosemary, and strains like Donny Burger.
  • Myrcene- Known for its earthy scent with notes of spice and musk, myrcene is found in hops, lemongrass, and strains like Buckin Runtz.
  • Caryophyllene- Found in spices such as cloves and black pepper, this terpene contributes a spicy/peppery flavor found in Platinum Garlic, making it a great pairing with savory dishes.
  • Humulene- A key ingredient in the bitter and “hoppy” flavor of IPA’s, Humulene can also be found in ginger, cloves, and White Truffle. This distinct flavor profile is perfect for the traditional holiday palate.

The combination of these compounds creates complex flavor and scent profiles that enhance the user experience and create a perfect opportunity to pair with the terpenes present in your meal.

Cannabinoids are the most commonly discussed compounds found in cannabis products. You are probably familiar with THC and CBD, two of the most widely discussed cannabinoids. However, THC and CBD actually refer to subclasses of cannabinoids, along with CBG, CBC, CBN, CBDL, and others. Within these subclasses, there are a variety of individual compounds that produce distinct effects, such as energy, creativity, drowsiness…etc. when consumed.

These compounds are important to keep in mind when choosing a cannabis product that fits the mood you are trying to create. While we won’t dive into each of those here, we encourage you to talk to our budtenders about the effects you are looking for when choosing a cannabis product. For now, we’ll break down the effects of each featured cannabis strain in our round-up to help you curate the perfect vibe with each course of your holiday dinner. So, let’s dig in!

First Course: Harvest Salad

In our culinary exploration of the fascinating world of cannabis and food pairings, we’re starting with a delightful duo that promises to elevate your dining experience. Our first course features a refreshing Harvest Salad with butternut squash, kale, pomegranate seeds, and creamy goat cheese. Paired alongside this delectable dish is the Happy Valley Butter Breath Vape, a match made in flavor heaven.

The magic behind this pairing lies in the dominant terpene of Butter Breath, beta-caryophyllene, which infuses a nutty, garlicky note to the experience, seamlessly complementing the rich, farm-inspired ingredients within the salad. But that’s not all; this particular strain is known to induce a relaxing, yet energetic effect when consumed, making it the perfect partner for our first course. It sets a delightful mood for the rest of your dinner, making the start of your culinary adventure with cannabis a truly unforgettable one. With mixed company, this vape is the perfect way to share cannabis with your guests in an accessible way. Get the full recipe for this dish here!

Entree: Roast Chicken with Maple Butter and Rosemary

Turning to the main course, we have roasted chicken glazed with rich maple butter and fragrant rosemary and its perfect companion: the crisp, citrus-scented strain Buckin Runtz. The secret to this harmonious match lies in one of this strain’s dominant terpenes, limonene, which adds a delightful hint of citrus to the experience. What’s more, this strain offers sweet and earthy aromatic notes when smoked, perfectly complementing the herbal nuances of the roasted chicken, resulting in a bright and flavorful pairing.

Buckin Runtz imparts a relaxing sensation but also keeps your mind clear and focused, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the delightful dinner conversation. So, get ready to savor this exceptional combination that’s bound to leave you both satisfied and engaged. Get the full recipe for this dish here!

Dessert: Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Infused Caramel

For the grand finale of our cannabis and food pairing journey, we have a delightful surprise in store: Chocolate Whoopie Pies courtesy of Lyndell’s Bakery in Somerville drizzled with a staff favorite, Full Melt Caramels. Now, when it comes to edibles like Full Melt Caramels, we may not experience the terpene profile, but what we do savor is that rich, sweet caramel flavor that complements the rich chocolate whoopie pie in a symphony of deliciousness. Edibles take their time to kick in, with an activation period of around 45 minutes to 2 hours. This means your guests will enjoy a gentle, calm, and relaxed energy as they head home, leaving your party on the perfect note. So, get ready to wrap up your cannabis-infused feast with a sweet and satisfying finale that ensures everyone leaves with a smile. Need some tips on melting caramel? We’ve got you covered.

In our exploration of cannabis and food pairings, we’ve taken you on a journey beyond traditional wine pairings. Incorporating cannabis into your holiday meal is all about terpenes (Limonene, Pinene, Myrcene, Caryophyllene, and Humulene) and cannabinoids (like THC and CBD), combining to create the perfect dining mood. From the relaxation of Butter Breath to the clarity of Buckin Runtz and the gentle relaxation of Full Melt Caramels, your guests will leave with smiles, carrying the memory of a uniquely elevated holiday dinner.

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