Many people think of sugary brownies, cookies and gummies when they think of cannabis edibles, but sweets aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. If this is you, fear not—many other choices exist, like this vegan cannabis-infused pumpkin seed pesto. Besides the marijuana, it’s loaded with a host of other beneficial ingredients like pumpkin seeds, garlic, lemon juice and herbs.
Because THC is fat soluble, as long as cannabis is infused into butter or oil, the culinary options are limitless. By using cannabis products that are lab-tested and have THC doses properly labeled, and by adjusting the use of the cannabis product based on your personal experience, the cannabis-infused cuisine of today can be an exploratory, positive and delicious experience.
Determining Serving Size & Potency
This recipe was developed using an infused olive oil with 5 mg of THC in every teaspoon; this means that the entire recipe contains exactly 60 mg of THC. So, if divided by 12, each serving of this pumpkin seed pesto will have exactly 5 mg of THC.
Everybody’s different, but many consumers have found that 5 mg is a relatively safe dose for exploring culinary cannabis and definitely a good place to start. Try half a teaspoon of the pesto on a cracker and wait one to two hours before deciding to serve.
Tip: If you can’t locate cannabis-infused olive oil for purchase, you can make your own; it requires a time investment, and it can be more difficult to calibrate the dosage, but with conservative trial and error, you can create a base for use in recipes like this one.
Cannabis-Infused Pumpkin Seed Pesto for Pasta, Salad Dressing & Pizza
Packed with verdant flavors, pesto perfectly complements (or even masks) the herbaceous addition of cannabis. The toasted pumpkin seeds, which acts as the replacement for the missing Parmesan cheese, delivers a debatably more memorable performance. The addition of nutritional yeast boosts the heartiness and balances the green flavors of basil, parsley and cannabis.
1 bunch basil, stems discarded
1/2 bunch parsley, stems discarded
3 1/3 oz extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp cannabis-infused extra virgin olive oil, or make your own cannabis cooking oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, green and unsalted
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
Spread raw pumpkin seeds across the pan and roast for 7–9 min. Pay close attention: The seeds should only brown slightly. When you hear seeds popping, remove from heat and allow to cool.
Combine basil, parsley, olive oil, cannabis olive oil, lemon juice, pumpkin seeds, garlic, nutritional yeast and salt into the bowl of your food processor. Process until well blended.
Photo credit: Victoria Alexandrova