My first foray into weed edibles was in seventh grade, but later in life it became a lucrative side business to supplement my full-time gig as a professional baker. As such, I can say that nice weed edibles are the best Valentine's Day gift ever.
Welcome back to Restaurant Confessionals, where we talk to the unheard voices of the restaurant industry from both the front-of-house (FOH) and back-of-house (BOH) about what really goes on behind the scenes at your favorite establishments.
From a baker at a high-end restaurant in Soho, Manhattan:
If I was with a guy and he bought me nice weed edibles, that would be the best gift ever. People are buying cute desserts on Valentine's Day anyway. We're all prepped at the bakery where I work: specially packaged cookies, macaroons galore, Black Forest cakes.
My first time baking edibles was in seventh grade. I had no idea what I was doing. My sister is two years older, and one of her friends had this bag of pot and brownie mix at some party, and he was like, "Hey, you like to bake! Can you just figure out how to make these?" They worked—they were really strong—but I didn't sift the weed out of the oil, so the brownies actually had weed bits in them, which is such a rookie move. I mean, everyone ate them and got really messed up, so they did the trick.
I really got into baking edibles when I moved to Boston to go to college, and needed money desperately. Massachusetts was pretty chill about pot in general. I worked at a cafe, and the guy who owned the diner next door was also a weed dealer, and he hooked me up with a cheap $200 ounce. I took that ounce and made weed butter over a double-boiler.
I was just doing chocolate chip cookies and brownies. The cookies were my own recipe; the brownies were this crappy box mix. I made weed cannabutter and cannaoil. For both, I used a mason jar to double-boil and cooked it over a simmer for two hours; it was a really gentle heat, so it didn't burn the butter or the weed while extracting the THC. The brownies had a homemade chocolate ganache topping that also had weed butter in it.
I had all these friends that performed shows in basements in Allston, so I started selling stuff there out of my backpack. I lived in Cambridge, and I put little notes under people's doors—my whole apartment building started buying from me. The postman where I worked wanted some, too, so I would sell to him. Soon all of the mailmen walking around Cambridge were eating my cookies and then working. They would all throw down a bunch of money and go in on a big batch.
It got to the point where I couldn't make enough! I had school and a job, and I was doing this on the side. I couldn't pay attention to it as much as I wanted to.
I didn't think about edibles for a really long time until recently. I was at my co-worker's son's seventh birthday party, where I made the cake. (It was a Minecraft cake, and it was awesome.) Her husband, a chef, pulled me aside, gave me a cookie and said, "Eat this whole thing right now." I knew what it was, but I was really caught off guard. Turns out, he makes this stuff all the time, and it was such a strong cookie. I got so messed up I was late for work the next day. It knocked me out. I should've only eaten half, in retrospect. My arm felt like a snake.
I kind of wanted another—just one that didn't taste like weed. If you do the double-boiler method, it tastes like weed, so you might as well just make a shit baked good and give it to people. But I don't want to do that. I want to make something that doesn't taste like weed at all, which is what I'm focusing on now.
Now I'm using a different extraction method. Since I don't have direct access to hash oil or concentrate, I have to extract it myself. You need an ounce of weed, dry ice, and this thing called a Bubble Bag, which is this bucket-shaped bag that's open on one side and screened in on the other.
You get a bucket, you put the weed in there, you put your gloves on, you put the dry ice on top. You put the bag on top, and you shake it with the screen side up. Then you shake it out through the mesh, ideally onto a flat surface with lots of space—white is best—and all the kief comes out. It's not that much compared to the plant matter you were dealing with, but it's way more potent. If you mix that in with food, and cook it at a certain temperature, you're not going to get the taste of weed.
I want to do a snickerdoodle—because everyone does chocolate chip—and a cupcake. Chocolate is really good for disguising the flavor; so is lemon. There was a woman who got really popular in Denver for making these edible lemon bars. Everyone says you can't taste the weed but they knock you on your ass. Oh, and sea salt! Always good on brownies. That's what people want to eat.
I also think edibles are a great idea for Galentine's Day, for girls who don't have boyfriends. It's such a cool thing to do. Grab some cookies and go to the spa or something! Or get a little fucked up and go get dessert with your girlfriends.
This first appeared on MUNCHIES in February 2015.