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A cannabis-infused Thanksgiving dinner can elevate traditional and mouthwatering holiday dishes into a new and magical experience. If you’re interested in incorporating cannabinoids or terpenes into your turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, or dessert, we’ve assembled the ultimate guide to ensure you have a blissful and safe Thanksgiving dinner.
Cannabis Dinner Etiquette
Before embarking on a multi-day prep process for the meal, ensure that your friends and family know that there will be cannabis-infused holiday fare on the dinner table.
Don’t pressure any hesitant family members to consume, but do attempt to educate canna-curious individuals, just in case they want to dabble in a pre-dinner smoke or eat some infused dishes. Here are a few other important dinner tips for a pleasant family affair:
- Eating cannabis on an empty stomach can make the experience more intense than it should be. Eat a nutritious snack or meal before taking a dose of THC or CBD.
- Avoid mixing cannabis and alcohol. Alcohol can amplify the effects of THC, which can overwhelm novice users and make them feel paranoid, dizzy, and nauseous.
- Label your infused dishes with serving size, dose, and other helpful information such as strain name, terpenes, and more for interested individuals.
- Don’t let family and friends drive home right after consuming cannabis, which can impair response time, motor coordination, and cognitive abilities. If needed, call a ride-sharing service to be safe.
- Edibles can take a couple of hours to kick in. Make sure to consume slowly throughout the dinner. New users should consume no more than 5 to 10 milligrams of THC throughout the entire dinner.
Microdosing Individual Dishes
Now that you’re ready and excited to get your cannabis-infused Thanksgiving dinner prepared, it’s time to discuss microdosing individual dishes. Because edibles have an extended onset time, it’s important to microdose individual dishes (one to five mg of THC or CBD per dish) to help your guests pace themselves and avoid overconsumption and cannabis edible edible side effects.
Individual dishes should be micro-dosed to equal the total desired milligrams of THC in the meal. For example, if your guest can only handle about 50 mg of THC or CBD, then they can serve themselves accordingly and add up the desired milligram amount as they go. Of course, genetics, metabolism, and frequency of use also play a part in the effects of cannabis.
Before you can use cannabis flower or concentrates in your Thanksgiving meal, you’ll need to make sure that they are decarboxylated, also known as decarbed. When heated at a certain temperature, the chemical compounds found in cannabis are activated.
Eating raw cannabis won’t have psychotropic effects, but vaporizing or smoking flower activates THCA and converts it into THC, which causes the high.
How to Make Cannabutter and Cannabis Oil
Butter, oils, and even ghee are crucial components of a Thanksgiving meal. From basting a turkey with olive oil to adding butter to mashed potatoes to make them creamy and fluffy, butter and oil are the foundation for your dishes.
Why not upgrade your butter or oil with a dash of cannabis flower or concentrate? Or, if you want to take an easier route, you can buy pre-made infusions.
When making a strong and effective cannabis-infused butter, also referred to as cannabutter, you can control its potency level of THC or CBD. You can use cannabis stems, shake, trim, even already vaped weed.
In order to make strong cannabutter, you’ll need a butter base with medium-length fat molecule chains. For example, clarified butter (ghee) contains 100 percent fat, while commercial butter bars contain up to 80 percent milkfat. Since cannabinoids bind to fat, more of the product will be infused into ghee than conventional butter.
Making cannabutter or cannabis cooking oil can be accomplished in a variety of ways, ranging from slow cooker to stovetop to oven. Olive and coconut oil are popular cannabis infusion bases, too. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make cannabutter or cannabis oil using a crockpot:
- Drop the decarbed starting material into the crockpot.
- Pour the oil or butter over the flower or concentrate.
- Turn on the device and set the temperature to the middle setting. Let it cook for about four hours. Stir and check the temperature every hour or so to make sure the temperature stays around 150ºF.
- After cooking, turn off the machine and allow the mixture to cool, without solidifying.
- Once cooled, strain the mixture into a heat-resistant bowl using a double cheesecloth-lined strainer and use it for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Infused Cannabis Turkey
The Thanksgiving turkey is the quintessential holiday centerpiece. Its crispy, juicy, and tender meat complement savory stuffing and gravy.
When making an infused cannabis turkey, you can use a standard turkey recipe that includes butter or oil. When basting the turkey, use olive oil mixed with 1 to 3 teaspoons of cannabis-infused oil or butter.
Canna-mashed potatoes are the perfect pairing to an herb-roasted turkey.
- 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- ½ cup warm milk
- 1 to 3 tsp cannabis butter
- ¼ cup regular butter
- ¾ tsp salt
- Dash of pepper
- Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water
- Cover and bring the water to boil
- Cook for 20-25 minutes or until very tender
- Drain well
- Add milk, cannabis butter, regular butter, salt, and pepper
- Mash until light and fluffy
Lemon Haze Cranberry Sauce
Balance the savory side of your dinner table with a sweet and tart Lemon Haze cranberry sauce to use as a relish on top or on the side of your meal.
- 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 strip orange or lemon zest
- 2 tbsp water
- 100 mg Lemon Haze cannabis extract (1/10 gram)
- 2 ml vodka
- Warm the vodka
- Add the cannabis extract
- Wait five minutes or until the extract is dissolved
- Empty all ingredients into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft (about 10 minutes).
- Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst (about 12 minutes).
- Chill before serving.
Nothing beats a homemade pumpkin pie after a hearty Thanksgiving meal, especially if it’s infused with cannabinoids.
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
- 1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 to 3 tsp cannabutter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust
- Preheat oven to 425ºF
- Whisk pumpkin, melted cannabutter, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth
- Pour into crust
- Bake for 15 minutes
- Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean
- Garnish as desired
- Store leftovers covered in refrigerator
As the night comes to an end, top off your infused experience with a CBD-infused coffee while you eat your favorite Thanksgiving desserts. CBD can provide a calming and attenuating effect after consuming THC. In order to make CBD-infused coffee, simply add a few drops of CBD oil into your favorite coffee or buy pre-made coffee from one of many CBD brands out there.
As America undergoes a forward-looking transformation, its traditions will be slowly altered, upgraded, and improved with new technologies and ingredients. Cannabis makes a great base or garnish for a dish. This Thanksgiving, we can all be thankful for the presence of friends, family, good food, and cannabis.
Karen gained expertise in developing training programs and technical documentation as a Senior Editor at Cisco Systems. She began her journey in cannabis as a patient, searching for a way to heal herself. When she perfected a method for making cannabis oil, other patients began to seek her out. An early adopter of CBD medicine, she started her CBD-infused-products business in 2014. Over the last two decades, Karen has taught hundreds of patients and caregivers how to select strains, infuse oils, and extract cannabinoids.
When she isn’t teaching cannabis cooking classes, Karen works as a cannabis business consultant, writes for online cannabis publications like Cannabis Training University, Leafly, and Weedmaps, and runs a CBD-infused-product business.