Of all the made-up holidays (lookin’ at you, No Sock Day, which falls on May 8 for those curious), April 20 aka 4/20 is one I can get behind. With rumored roots in police code and Bob Dylan songs, a 2017 Time article finally set the record straight: 4:20 p.m. was the time that a group of California high schoolers (shocker!) known as the “Waldos” would meet to “smoke a doobie,” says Dave Reddix, one of the group’s members.
Today, their extracurricular of choice lives on in the form of festivals, documentaries, indie magazines, and of course, plenty of snacks. Over the years, we’ve teamed up with edibles expert Vanessa Lavorato—founder of Marigold Sweets—to dream up cannabis-infused drinks, apps, main dishes, and desserts that are perfect for 4/20 snacking and beyond. While we love to make and enjoy these treats, it’s also important to address the complicated relationship the U.S. has with cannabis and incarceration. To read more on the topic, check out the articles below:
Here are 10 of our favorite homemade edibles to celebrate the season.
Note: If you’re considering enjoying the recipes below, please consult and follow the legal restrictions for controlled substances where you live. Because there are so many variables with homemade edibles, go slowly. You may want to start with half a serving and determine your tolerance and ideal dose from there. And always wait a couple hours to feel the effects.
Consider this one of the mother sauces of cannabis cooking. “Nearly pure fat, coconut oil effortlessly binds to the cannabinoids in weed and has a higher smoke point than some other oils,” Vanessa says. Whip up a batch of this to keep on hand for future canna-bakes.
Inspired by a recipe found in a tin at an antique market, this pineapple punch relies on the power of grain alcohol to “strip the plant resins from the cannabis flower,” says Vanessa. The resin is then suspended in the alcohol tincture, and the addition of fat (aka sherbet) helps the body to fully absorb the cannabinoids.
Teeny-tiny cookies are a perfect dessert regardless of the circumstances. Here, Vanessa infuses the cookies with a microdose of THC for the canna-curious among us—each cookie sandwich doses at 3 milligrams of THC, meaning each cookie doses at 1½ milligrams of THC. She notes that if you’re making the cookies on their own and are new to edibles, you should start with one or two cookie sandwiches (that’s two or four cookies), then wait a couple hours to feel the effects.
Okay, so we know salad doesn’t exactly scream “celebratory,” but we promise that Vanessa’s cheesy, mushroom-covered, perfectly dressed wedge situation will change your mind. The dressing uses her Cannabis Coconut Oil, which you may already have on hand if you prepped some immediately after reading the first recipe in this list.
This vegetarian-friendly dish combines melty Gruyère, nutty farro, and sautéed mushrooms with Vanessa’s signature weed oil (see above). While this dish is designed to make personal portions, it’s also on the heavy side, which means it’ll take longer to feel the effects of the cannabis. “Edibles take time to digest, so a heavier dish will release over a longer period than a lighter one,” Vanessa says. “Our livers metabolize THC in a different way than when we smoke: THC converts to 11-Hydroxy-THC in our bodies, which lasts longer and feels more potent than inhaled cannabis.”
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Punchy horseradish meets creamy Dijon mustard and salty anchovies in this retro-inspired snack. Vanessa recommends weighing out the eggs as you add the filling in order to be precise with the dose.
7. Space Cake
No cannabis roundup would be complete without a nod to Amsterdam, so here you have it: Space Cake. These cakes can take on various shapes and potencies in their hometown. Here, Vanessa takes a cue from a Moon Pie—a classic Southern sweet—and adds her signature Cannabis Coconut Oil.
If gummies are more your speed when it comes to edibles, Vanessa has you covered. These gummies get their pep from a cannabis tincture, which Vanessa says is easiest to master at home using a whipped cream canister. “The nitrous oxide in combination with a high-proof neutral alcohol like Everclear acts as a solvent, stripping the cannabinoids (THC, CBD) from the plant buds,” she says.
It doesn’t get more classic than weed brownies, whether you’re using boxed mix as your base or making them from scratch. Vanessa’s version is a chewy, fudgy, and decidedly not cake-like brownie that features cannabutter for her signature THC twist.
If you’ve already made a batch of cannabutter for the brownies above, you might at well add some to this incredibly snackable popcorn. Vanessa replicates a fan-favorite dressing—that would be ranch, in case you didn’t know—using powdered buttermilk and a smattering of dried herbs, which the popped kernels are tossed in along with the cannabutter.