November 28, 2020

How to make edibles: Leafly's guide to cooking with cannabis


Thanks to widespread marijuana legalization pushing cannabis products into mainstream acceptance, there are virtually endless types of cannabis edibles beyond the token pot brownie or cookie—think nut butter, guacamole, barbecue sauce, and even cheese. And while you can pick up pre-packaged edibles at your local dispensary, you can also whip up your own marijuana edibles at home.

Making cannabis edibles is easy and fun. If you want to tackle creating your own infused concoctions, this guide is a helpful primer on how to cook edibles at home, how to make staples like infused cannabutter and oils, and easy recipe suggestions you can try.

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Introduction to edibles and baking with cannabis

What are edibles?

Cannabis edibles are any food that is infused with cannabis compounds like THC and CBD.

A great option for those who don’t want to smoke cannabis but still enjoy it, edibles vary in both form and potency: chocolates, brownies, cookies, gummies, tea, hot sauce, and much more. You can pretty much turn anything into an edible and make it as potent or weak as you like.

Learn more about cannabis edibles

How do you cook or bake edibles?

The edible cooking and baking process starts with decarboxylation (de-carb-ox-yl-a-tion). Basically, you need to heat cannabis in order for your body to absorb cannabinoids, like THC and CBD. When you smoke weed, this happens from the flame of your lighter.

When you make edibles, you still have to heat weed to decarboxylate it to make THC readily available for your body. But you do it at a much lower temperature so that the plant stays intact while you infuse it with butter or oil, or whatever your base ingredient for cooking or baking is.

Learn how to decarboxylate weed for baking or cooking

How do you store edibles after baking?

You’re probably wondering how long your homemade marijuana edibles stay fresh. The edibles you make are baked or cooked goods just like any other, and they’ll have the same shelf life as any regular food you make. Would you leave grandma’s chocolate chip cookies on your counter for a week? A pot of chili on your stovetop for days on end? Likewise, your homemade edibles will also go stale or bad in time.

In order to keep your weed edibles fresh, store them in a sealable bag or container so they stay preserved and tasty. For baked goods, you can even throw them in the fridge to really prolong their shelf life.

But that’s not to say you can’t eat a stale cookie—it might not taste that great, but it will still get you high. Some amount of THC will typically be in there for up to six months; the main concern is the baked good going bad or getting moldy.

Always, always, keep cannabis edibles out of reach of children, and consider labeling your infused goodies to avoid confusing unsuspecting housemates. We’ve all heard the story of the housemate who came home and helped themself to a fresh brownie, not knowing they were infused with weed…

How do you measure edible dosage for baking?

We highly recommend you start with a small amount of cannabis when making infused butter, oil, or anything else.

Most of our recipes below call for equal parts baking ingredient to cannabis—for example, 1 cup butter to 1 cup ground cannabis—but if this is your first time infusing weed, use even less. The worst that can happen is the edible won’t be as strong as you hoped.

Pro tip: Write down the ratio of cannabis to cooking ingredient you use, so that you can copy or adjust the recipe next time. You may think you’ll remember how much you put in, but after a couple edibles it’s easy to forget.

What kind of equipment do I need to bake edibles?

Baking edibles is easy. All you need is an oven and whatever utensils you’d use for regular baking—a mixing bowl, spoon, measuring cups, and maybe a whisk, depending on the recipe.

Oh, and some weed. Generally about 7-10 grams, or two eighths.

Will my neighbors be able to smell the edibles I’m baking?

Not at all. It might smell a little bit, but the smell won’t leave the kitchen.

Making cannabutter or cannabis oil can be a smelly process because you generally heat weed for a few hours, but even then, the neighbors won’t be able to tell.

Cannabis butter and cannabis cooking oil recipes

Every good edible starts with a base weed-infused ingredient. THC and CBD are fat-soluble, meaning they need fats to dissolve and for your body to use them.

Because a lot of baking involves butter, most people infuse that with cannabis, but cooking oil, coconut oil, and honey are other fat-soluble favorites you can infuse with cannabis and then make edibles with.


Making cannabutter is easy, but it can take some time. You can cook weed butter when you’re hanging around the house for a few hours, or overnight if you have a slow cooker—just make sure you don’t leave the house with your infusion cooking on the stovetop unattended.

All you need to whip up a batch of cannabutter is butter, water, marijuana, cheesecloth, and a stovetop or slow cooker. After it’s done, you can use the cannabutter as you would regular butter in any baking recipe. You can even make flavored cannabutter, dressing up our basic recipe by adding additional ingredients like honey and lavender, roasted garlic and chives, roasted jalapeño and cilantro-lime, raspberry jam, or other delicious combinations.

Get the recipe for cannabutter

Cannabis cooking oil

If your recipe calls for oil, or if you just prefer using it to butter, you can easily infuse some cooking oil with cannabis. Like the cannabutter recipe above, cannabis-infused cooking oil is super easy to make. Transform canola oil, vegetable oil, olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, or any other type of cooking oil into infused marijuana cooking oil with some cannabis, cheesecloth, and a stovetop or slow cooker.

Get the recipe for marijuana cooking oil

Cannabis coconut oil

Like cooking oil, you can infuse coconut oil with marijuana as well. Not only does coconut oil smell (and taste!) good, it contains healthy fatty acids and is a versatile product to have around the house (you can cook with it and use it as part of your beauty and hair regimen).

As with our cannabutter and cooking oil recipes, all you need to make a batch of infused marijuana coconut oil are your cannabis of choice, some coconut oil, cheesecloth, and a stovetop or slow cooker. Once it’s been properly infused and cooled, you can add it to any cooking recipe, or even apply it directly to your skin as you would a lotion.

Get the recipe for marijuana coconut oil

Cannabis honey

Cannabis honey is great for putting in a cup of tea or other hot beverage, drizzling over some sweets, or just eating on its own. But watch out, this one can be messy.

To make a batch of infused marijuana honey at home, you’ll need your favorite types of honey and marijuana, cheesecloth, and a stovetop or slow cooker. While the process could get a bit sticky, once your cannabis honey cools and solidifies, it should keep for 1-2 months if properly stored.

Get the recipe for marijuana honey

Cannabis tinctures

Marijuana tinctures are great because you can add them to anything or even drop them under your tongue for fast-acting cannabis effects. Although tinctures are very versatile, these take weeks to make, so make sure you set aside some time in your schedule to check in on your tincture mixture once a day for several weeks to shake the contents.

To make a homemade batch of marijuana tincture, you’ll need high-proof, food-grade alcohol (like Everclear) or glycerin (a plant-based oil), some cannabis, a Mason jar with lid, a coffee filter or cheesecloth, and a glass vial with dropper to store and dispense your tincture. After you’ve made your cannabis tincture, store it in a cool, dry place to extend its shelf life.

Get the recipe for marijuana tinctures

Cannabis-infused dessert recipes

Pot Brownies

When people think about baking with cannabis, the first recipe that typically comes to mind is the classic pot brownie. There’s a reason why pot brownies are so popular: the rich, chocolatey taste of this classic often successfully hides the earthy flavor of its cannabis-infused ingredients.

While brownies typically operate by the pizza principle—even when they’re not that good, they’re still pretty good—it’s so much more satisfying to infuse a homemade batch. But honestly, whether your pot brownies come from a boxed mix, a family recipe, or Snoop Dogg BFF Martha Stewart, the resulting buzz is bound to be downright delicious.

Try this recipe for pot brownies

Cannabis-infused peanut butter cookies

Another classic baked treat, infused marijuana peanut butter cookies are one of those snacks that are beautiful in their simplicity. Butter. Sugar. Peanut butter. Eggs. Flour. No frills, no foofaraw, not a thing you don’t need.

A basic cannabis-infused peanut butter cookie recipe also leaves you with plenty of space to add a secret ingredient without ruining the end result (for a sweet and salty-savory variation, try adding 1/2 cup bacon bits—and in case you want to kick up the potency, we’ll just leave this infused marijuana bacon recipe here).

Try this recipe for cannabis peanut butter cookies

Cannabis birthday cake

cannabis-infused birthday cake

Want to kick that birthday party up a notch? Try this recipe for a delicious infused marijuana birthday cake. Whether you’re celebrating your birthday, your smoke buddy’s, or a legalization anniversary, this delectable vanilla cake with rainbow sprinkles will put a smile on everyone’s face (and the ensuing buzz from the “secret” ingredient will be sure to keep it there).

Get the recipe for infused cannabis birthday cake

Edible gummies recipe

It might surprise you, but making infused marijuana gummies at home is easier than you may think. If you’re not a fan of baked goods or just want an edible that’s small and easy to carry while you’re on the go, you might want to try cooking up a batch of edible gummies.

THC gummy bears

You can use a basic recipe for gummies, like the below recipe for infused marijuana gummy bears, and easily switch out the shape and flavor for your favorite combination (strawberry gummy fish, lime gummy worms, peach gummy rings, grape gummy dinosaurs, etc.). To make infused cannabis gummies, you’ll need a food-grade condiment bottle, food-grade silicone gummy molds, a saucepan, a funnel, a measuring cup, a whisk, a spatula, THC tincture, fruit juice, water or coconut water, gelatin or agar-agar powder, creamed honey or your preferred sweetener, salt, and green tea bags (or your herbal tea of choice).

Try this recipe for marijuana gummy bears

Cannabis drink recipes

Cannabis is fat-soluble, not water-soluble, meaning it it binds to butter and oils and not water. But that doesn’t mean you can’t infuse drinks—you’ll just need to use a cannabis-infused oil or honey. You can also put a couple drops of cannabis tincture in your beverage of choice.

Cannabis-infused tea

(Monica Lo/@sousweed for Leafly)

You can use a few different methods to brew up some soothing infused marijuana tea. Infusing water with dry marijuana flower will result in a weak brew since cannabis is fat-soluble, but it’s an option for those looking for a low-dose, mellow sipper. You can also use infused cannabis honey or a cannabis tincture for a more potent tea. If you’re interested in a tea latte, you can incorporate infused cannabis coconut oil or infused cannabutter for a richer taste.

Try our recipe for infused marijuana tea

Other recipes to try

Want to try even more homemade edibles recipes? These are some of Leafly’s favorites:

Got a favorite marijuana edibles recipe to share? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram!

Leafly Staff's Bio Image

Leafly Staff

Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource, empowering people in legal cannabis markets to learn about the right products for their lifestyle and wellness needs. Our team of cannabis professionals collectively share years of experience in all corners of the market, from growing and retail, to science and medicine, to data and technology.

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