Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving menu! While turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce are something to savor all on their own, there’s one thing that can make these Thanksgiving staples even better: a touch of cannabis.
Cannabis-infused Thanksgiving dishes are something that can make your Thanksgiving dinner all the merrier. Of course, before you serve a cannabis-infused dish, you’ll need to check with your guests (or fellow guests, if you’re headed to a potluck) to make sure they’re all down to get high off your food. But once you’ve got the green light, you can use our simple recipes to create a Thanksgiving meal that will be one for the books!
Read on to see our ultimate guide to a cannabis-infused Thanksgiving, full of recipes for cannabis-infused Thanksgiving staples that are sure to delight.
Two Notes on Cooking With Cannabis
Before we get into our cannabis-infused Thanksgiving recipe guide, we wanted to give a couple of general notes on cooking with cannabis. If you’re already an experienced cannabis chef, feel free to skip to our recipes below! But if you’re new to cooking with cannabis and are trying it for the first time to turn your Thanksgiving into Danksgiving, we recommend reading this section to ensure your cannabis-infused meal is expertly prepared.
Note #1: On Decarbing Your Cannabis
First, if you’ve never cooked with cannabis before, know that decarboxylating your cannabis before you infuse it into butter or oil will help you avoid two common issues: low potency and a poor taste. Decarboxylation is a process that allows the THCA (a nonreactive cannabinoid) that naturally occurs in raw cannabis flowers to convert into THC (the cannabinoid in cannabis that causes a high). When you smoke cannabis, decarboxylation happens naturally due to heat. But if you were to eat raw cannabis without decarboxylating it first, you would mostly consume THCA rather than THC. So, failing to decarboxylate (or “decarb”) your cannabis before making an edible can lead to a weak or inactive edible.
Some recipes for cannabis-infused butter or oil include steps that decarb to create THC during the ganja infusion process. While this can be effective, we recommend decarbing your cannabis before infusing it into butter or oil, since this generally leads to a better taste.
How to Decarb Cannabis: One of the easiest ways to decarb cannabis is by heating it in your oven. To use this method of decarboxylation, first, preheat your oven to 245 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, place your cannabis buds on a baking tray lined with parchment paper (note: parchment paper helps prevent sticking). Next, place your tray in your preheated oven to decarb for 30 to 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, remove your tray and gently shake it to mix your cannabis buds and ensure even exposure to heat. After a total of 30 to 40 minutes, remove your cannabis from the oven and allow it to cool. Now, you have decarbed cannabis that’s ready to be used in a cannabis butter or oil recipe!
Note #2: On Testing Strength
If you’re new to cooking with cannabis, understand that it can be hard to know how strong your cannabis-infused butter or oil is without trying it. While many infusion recipes will include how much cannabis you should use, consider this a guideline rather than a definitive amount. Even when you use the same amount of cannabis as a recipe suggests, the resulting strength of your infusion can vary depending on how strong your strain is and how your cannabis bud is exposed to heat during the cooking process. Then, additionally, how strong you want your butter or oil to be is very personal. Everyone’s tolerance level is different. You may find that you want your cannabis butter or olive oil to be either more or less potent than the suggested amount of cannabis in your recipe provides.
Because of all this, we generally recommend testing the strength of your infused ingredients before adding them to recipes (especially if you’re new to cooking with cannabis). You can prepare your cannabis-infused butter or oil a few days before you plan to cook your Thanksgiving meal, then try a small amount to test its potency and effects. That way, you’ll have time to adjust your recipe if you need to. You may decide you want to change the amount of cannabis you use in your recipe, decide to switch to a Sativa vs. Indica strains, go with a higher CBD or lower CBD blend, and so on. Or, you may just have confirmation that your recipe turned out perfectly the first time! Whatever your results, we recommend making your cannabis-infused butter or oil in advance so you’ll have time to make whatever changes you want before serving your recipe to your guests at the big meal.
Cannabis-Infused Thanksgiving Recipes: Your Holiday Season Cannabis Cookbook
There are so many ways you can infuse classic Thanksgiving dishes with cannabis. One of our favorite ways to easily make any recipe a cannabis recipe is by incorporating a bit a cannabutter (cannabis-infused butter) into your dish. Just by adding a bit of cannabutter, you can quickly make any meal into “green cuisine.” Below, see our recipe for cannabutter and many stoner-friendly Thanksgiving recipes that incorporate it!
Cannabutter Recipe: Your Green Thanksgiving Essential
- 1 Cup of Butter
- 1 Cup (7 to 10 grams) of Coarsely Ground Cannabis, Decarboxylated*
- 1 Cup of Water
*Note: To learn how to decarb cannabis (and why we recommend doing so), see Note #1 in the previous section.
- Place 1 cup of water and 1 cup of butter in a saucepan or stockpot. With your burner on low heat, heat your butter and water until the butter is melted and the mixture is well combined.
- Add 1 cup of coarsely ground cannabis to your butter and water mixture, keeping your burner heat on low. Stir to combine. Allow your mixture to simmer uncovered for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally to ensure your butter does not burn. Your mixture should simmer and never come to a full boil.
- Remove pot from heat and strain the cannabis buds from your cannabis-infused butter using a fine-mesh strainer. Press into the plant matter in the strainer after your initial pour to ensure you squeeze out all the butter.
- Allow your cannabutter to come to room temperature, then enjoy it! Your cannabutter can be used immediately or can be stored in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to use it.
Note: While we have many recipes that include cannabutter listed below, feel free to use a bit of this cannabutter in any of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes! This delectable cannabutter works well with savory side dishes like casseroles or green beans, and in sweet recipes like apple pie or brownies. More about cannabutter here.
Creamy Cannabis-Infused Mashed Potatoes
(Adapted from Tasty, serves 4 people)
- 2 lb Yukon gold potatoes
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 5 tablespoons unsalted regular butter, cubed, cold
- 3 tablespoons cannabutter, cubed, cold (more or less, depending on potency)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes.
- While your potatoes are simmering, combine milk, heavy cream, and garlic in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat once it simmers, then strain your cream mixture to remove garlic.
- Once your potatoes have simmered for 12 minutes, remove from heat and drain. Transfer your drained potatoes back into your pot.
- Mash potatoes with a potato masher.
- Add your cubed butter, cubed cannabutter, and salt, and stir to combine.
- Gradually add your cream mixture to your potatoes little by little until fully incorporated.
- Season with black pepper to taste.
- Serve and enjoy!
Delectable Cannabis-Infused Pumpkin Pie
(Adapted from The Food Network, serves 6 to 8 people)
- 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg plus two egg yolks, slightly beaten
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons melted regular butter
- 2 tablespoons melted cannabutter (more or less, depending on potency)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 piece pre-made pie dough
- Whipped cream, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place your pre-made pie dough into a 9-inch pie pan and press down along the bottom and sides. Pinch and crimp edges to create a pie crust pattern. Place the pie shell in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove from the freezer and fit a piece of aluminum foil inside the pie crust to completely cover the shell. Fill the shell with pie weights (or use dried beans or uncooked rice if you don’t have pie weights). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove pie weights and aluminum foil. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the pie crust is dried out and beginning to color.
- While your pie crust is baking, make your pie filling. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add pumpkin and beat until combined. Add sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add eggs and egg yolks, half-and-half, melted butter, and melted cannabutter, and beat until combined. Lastly, add your vanilla and cinnamon, and beat until combined.
- Pour your pie filling into your prepared pie crust. Bake for 50 minutes or until the center of the pie has set.
- Cool to room temperature. Cut and serve, topping with whipped cream if desired.
Zesty Cannabis-Infused Cranberry Sauce
(Adapted from The Pioneer Woman, serves 6 people)
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cannabutter (more or less, depending on potency)
- Rinse cranberries well and place in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with your sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and cinnamon stick. Stir.
- Place pan over medium heat. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to ensure your sauce doesn’t burn at the bottom of the pan.
- Remove pan from heat and remove the cinnamon stick.
- Add in cannabutter and stir until fully melted and combined.
- Allow your cranberry sauce to come to room temperature and serve.
Infusing the main event of your Thanksgiving dinner, your turkey, with cannabis is simple. Just use any turkey recipe that calls for butter during the basting process and swap in a bit of cannabutter in place of some of the recipe’s butter to create the ultimate cannabis Thanksgiving main course. (If you’re looking to try out a new turkey recipe this Thanksgiving, check out this one from Bon Appetit.) When basting your turkey, be sure to work the basting marinade that gathers in your pan (including your cannabutter!) under the skin as well as on top of it.