A local business offers classes on how to cook and bake with cannabis
by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville resident Erynn Watson has turned a passion for cooking into an opportunity to help those who want to learn how to cook and bake with cannabis properly.
Around 2015, when cannabis first became legal, one of Watson’s cousins had breast cancer.
The cousin was exploring cannabis edibles to help reduce the pain and help her sleep.
That’s when Watson came into the picture, making her cousin truffles called knock-out truffles for their high potency. One truffle would reduce the pain and help her cousin sleep.
It was the beginning of Watson’s journey into understanding cannabis and its use in the kitchen.
” I went down a rabbit hole from there, learning about how that works with pain management, what are the proper strains to use, and the different terpene profiles,” Watson said. “There is so much you can learn about it, and this [experience] got me started.”
That initial help to her cousin branched out to other family members with health issues.
Once cannabis legalization expanded to include edibles, Watson started thinking about using her skills in a new business.
She spent three years talking to Health Canada and AGLC about how to do that. Their interest and concern was retail, so they were unsure what to do to assist Watson with information.
The conclusion was that she was good to go so long as she was not selling cannabis baking but teaching people how to do so correctly instead.
“So I’m stuck in a limbo where they say they don’t care and what I’m doing is ok, but any day it could change,” Watson said, adding she is sticking to offering lessons, which she knows are acceptable.
But teaching people how to cook and bake with cannabis does not happen without the prerequisite ability to cook and bake without cannabis.
“I love to cook. In the family, I’m known for my baking. I sell my [regular] baking now at Farmers’ Market every weekend,” Watson said. “I love being in the kitchen. That is what gives me the most joy.”
Although that love of cooking and baking led to her family approaching her to help with cannabis baking, those skills and lessons learned are available to anyone wanting to learn.
Watson says the process is not as cumbersome as people might think.
“The thing about THC is it binds to fat molecules, so anything that has a fat molecule in it, you can infuse with cannabis,” Watson said.
The process starts with applying heat to the bud to de-carb the plant to make it potent.
“When you smoke it, you automatically apply that heat because you light it on fire,” Watson said. “But when you are eating it, you have to cook the weed at a temperature that isn’t going to burn off the THC but still take that carbon molecule and make it into THC. That is what will make it potent.”
With the process completed, the resulting product can go onto hamburgers or into butter or coconut oil for baking.
“You suck out all the THC that you can from the plant and infuse that into the butter,” Watson said. “And that is what you will use to bake.”
The cannabis cook said there is a lot of online misinformation and myths on the topic. One of them is that the process is a long one.
Watson explained that previous methods of throwing everything in a crock pot would make butter but eventually, the length of the process would make butter that tasted like weed.
“The process I do when I do my lessons only takes two hours from the de-carb process to the final result, she said. “It takes an afternoon. When I do my lessons in people’s homes, I walk them through the whole process.”
Watson’s client base has been growing, and she hopes to get into bigger locations where she can offer a workshop to more people.
Currently, Watson will do her lesson at your home. The cost is $100 for up to four people and $25 for each additional person. Students need to provide their own cannabis – about seven grams.
But the classes teach more than how to make cannabis-infused butter or coconut oil for vegans and those with special dietary needs.
Watson helps her clients understand what strain is best for what they wish to accomplish and what the potency of the butter is so clients know how much should go in the baking.
The cannabis-baker said people should know that the cannabis smell does not linger long in the home after the butter-making process, but the savings will.
“If you are someone that is going to use edibles a lot, learning how to do this will save you money,” Watson said, noting that when you make a batch of cannabis butter, you often need only a tablespoon or two in what you are making to achieve the dosage required.
The remaining butter can be kept in the fridge or frozen.
You can find more information about Watson’s lesson at ganjagoddess.ca.