The Cannabis Cookbook has great intentions: Write some recipes that incorporate marijuana into tasty food. Medibles are an important alternative to smoking marijuana that many medical-marijuana recipients require. The thing is though, this book reads exactly like you expect it to--as if a bunch of stoners had gotten together, written down their favorite recipes, and gave them goofy names like "Far Out Spag" and "Ganja Goo Balls."
I knew there was going to be trouble when the brownie recipe said, "Now it's poured into a greased square oven pan (9 x 12 in/23 x 30 cm)." 9 by 12 inches does not a square oven pan make! And this is coming from a book that lists nearly every ingredient by weight AND volume. That is a level of accuracy saved for professional bakers, anal-retentive foodies, and drug dealers. Oh, wait . . .
The directions for each recipe sound like they were overheard on a campground at a dusty, smelly hippie-music festival: "The coffee gets heated on a low flame, until it threatens to bubble over, and then is removed quickly from the heat." Really? This is your cooking strategy? My trust in the quality and accuracy of this book finally ran out when the brownie batter needed not one but two square 9"x12" pans. A detail the author managed to miss.
The brownies were ALMOST a complete failure. They tasted like crappy, carob health-food-store brownies. I even went off recipe and used Valrhona baking chocolate, but followed the recipe when it called for two cups (that's 700g) of honey. Honey should have been my first warning to cook a different recipe. Brownies made with honey are like mayonnaise made with tofu. It can be done, but it's kind of a shitty alternative to the real thing. After the recommended 35 minutes of baking, those brownies were the texture of chair-cushion foam. Sure, the instructions warned against overcooking, but it didn't give any indicators to look for as the brownies baked (most cookbooks use the "insert a toothpick" technique).
What the brownies lacked in texture and flavor, however, they made up for in their ability to get you HIIIGHHH!!! The secret ingredient is cannabutter. Crush 2 ounces of dried marijuana leaves, mix them into melted butter (about a pound), and stir a few minutes until the butter is green. Strain and chill. This butter can be incorporated into any recipe that calls for butter. The brownie recipe in The Cannabis Cookbook called for 6 ounces of cannabutter per batch. One batch yielded about 32 brownies. Reports from my panel of testers say that one brownie does the trick. Two brownies incapacitate you for several blissful hours.
I don't think I will use the brownie recipe from The Cannabis Cookbook again. That being said, I can HIGHLY recommend the cannabutter recipe. It canna be used in any recipe that calls for butter. Next time, though, I'll use it in a well-tested and well-written recipe instead.
Read Part II of this week's Cooking the Books and a recipe from The Cannabis Cookbook.