Now You're Cooking with Grass

By Lynn Leishman

One of the many pleasures of cannabis is that there are so many different ways to consume it. For those who prefer an alternative to smoking, cooking with cannabis has long been a preferred option, especially when it’s desirable to extend and enhance the effects (at the cost of slightly delayed onset).

I pulled an old cookbook out of storage recently: Cooking with Marijuana by (wait for it) Evelyn Schmevelyn, printed in 1974 by Sun Magic Publishing. I remember preparing one of Chapter 9’s recipes, aptly named “Jill’s Knock Yourself Out First Thing in the Morning Breakfast Sammiches” — basically a cheesy egg and bacon sandwich. It was popular fare on weekends in the ’70s, probably because it called for a ½ cup of pot (thoroughly cleaned, sieved, run through the blender and sautéed in a little butter) to make 4 servings. If you’re wondering, yes, it was a little gritty.

In 1974, most of the cannabis (we called it pot then) had to be thoroughly cleaned by removing stems and seeds. Cooking with Marijuana actually explains how to do this the old-fashioned way, using an album cover and matchbook. The book is charmingly illustrated with hippy, trippy drawings, and even though it’s long been out of print, it’s not difficult to find a used copy online — but you won’t be able to buy it at the original price of $2.95.

Most of Schmevelyn’s recipes could stand an update — such as using organic cheese rather than Velveeta on Jill’s Sammiches — and, due to today’s higher-quality cannabis, much less product is necessary to reach the same levels of elevation.

What if I wanted to add cannabis to a favorite brunch recipe I turn to regularly on the weekends? With a little research, I determined that the easiest recipes to adapt are those that already call for butter or oil. Rather than making my own cannabutter, I elected to buy a 4-ounce tub at a local dispensary. Packing 2,300 milligrams of THC, a single container equals 230 servings of 10 milligrams each. As always, before consuming cannabis, know your THC dosage preferences and limitations. 

Fortunately, makers of modern cannabutter have solved the grit problem. This recipe calls for a total of 3 ½ tablespoons of softened butter. Depending on the desired dosage per person, plan to substitute ½ - 1 tablespoon of regular butter with cannabutter. (I used ½ tablespoon of cannabutter for the first test run and my taste testers thought it was too mild. Know your audience.) Think of this recipe as a savory bread pudding suitable for any meal. 


Get Baked Strata


2 ½ tablespoons softened butter

1 tablespoon softened cannabutter

8 slices dry bread, with crust is fine (Use enough to fill two layers of an 8-inch-square pan. Cut bread to fit if necessary.)

5 eggs, beaten

6 ounces grated cheese (Sharp cheddar or your favorite.)

1 teaspoon hot sauce

2 ¼ cups milk

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ tablespoon pesto



Butter pan lightly. Spread remaining butter on one side of each slice of bread and place a layer in the pan, buttered-side up. Sprinkle with the grated cheese. Cover with remaining bread.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over bread and cheese. Push the top layer of bread down into the egg mixture to make sure slices are coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least six hours.

Heat oven to 350˚ F. Remove plastic wrap and place in the upper third of the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until puffy and lightly browned. Let stand five minutes before serving. Serves 6.