One great part about the continued normalization of cannabis is the accessibility of edible recipes. Whether you’re a seasoned cannabis cook or just getting started, the internet is full of all kinds of
If you’re strictly plant-based or simply looking to embrace more vegan food items in your day-to-day life, you’ll easily find a plethora of cannabis-infused vegan options.
As a vegan cannabis consumer myself, I will often see a delicious recipe, salivating over the included images, and realizing, “Oh, yeah, that’s definitely not vegan.”
Fortunately, it’s not terribly challenging to change up a cannabis edible recipe to make it vegan. Additionally, there are a number of cannabis-infused ingredient staples that can easily be used in my everyday cooking, should I want to add a little bit of razzle dazzle, so to speak. Let’s explore tips and tricks you need to make delicious vegan cannabis edibles.
Vegan Eating and the New Era of Alternatives
To start, let’s outline exactly what we mean when we talk about plant-based foods. Vegan diets consist of foods that have no animal products in them. This means no meat, dairy or eggs. Many vegans also avoid honey and gelatin.
I think back to when I first went fully vegan, just over four years ago. I had always wanted to at least be a vegetarian ever since I was a teenager. I gave up red meat and pork when I was 15 and only ate poultry up until 2019, when something just sort of clicked within me.
I realized that there is truly no better time to go vegan, or at the very least embrace more plant-based options. Plant-based foods are more accessible than they’ve ever been, at least if you live in a city and/or have easy access to larger grocery stores. There’s truly a substitute for pretty much anything, which we’ll dive into a bit later.
Vegan Cannabis Recipes: Infused Oils are Your Friend
A staple of cannabis edibles is generally some sort of infusion, usually a butter or oil. You’ve likely heard the phrase “cannabutter,” or cannabis butter, thrown around, which out the gate is not a vegan-friendly option. That said, there aren’t very many “rules” so to speak when it comes to cannabis infusions.
Personally, I love cannabis-infused coconut oil, though I am also not huge on
Infused oils are truly one of the quickest and easiest ways to simply infuse a meal, vegan or not. They also last longer than infused butters!
Think of a decadent pasta dish, topped with an infused olive oil. I eat a lot of tofu, and whether I throw it into a salad or make it more of a stir fry situation with some veggies, I always start by chopping it up, throwing it in a pan, adding diced onion, garlic, seasoning and coconut oil. Literally any time you might use an oil in your plant-based meal, this is a great and simple opportunity to infuse your foods.
Infused oils can also easily be added to sauces, smoothies or even eaten as is!
To learn more about making cannabis-infused coconut oil, check out High There’s
Cannabis Infused Vegan Butter
In general, infused oils can be used in place of cannabutter. That said, it’s not a perfect replacement. Butter does offer that specific flavor that an infused oil might not; it can really give certain foods an extra bit more needed moisture and an infused oil generally isn’t always going to scratch that same itch.
Most grocery stores will likely have some kind of plant-based butter, and these can also be used for cannabis infusions. To optimize your vegan butter infusion, there are a few things to keep in mind:
You’ll want to make sure that your vegan butter has a comparable amount of fat and saturated fat to regular butter and coconut oil. (Make sure you go with unsalted butter, too!)
A quick Google search shows that a single serving of coconut oil has 14 grams of fat and 12 grams of saturated fat; the coconut oil I have in my cupboard is 12 grams of fat and seven grams of saturated fat. Somewhere in that range is ideal, and having a decent amount of saturated fat is especially essential to ensuring a quality infusion.
This is actually why coconut oil is considered one of the best for infusions, as olive oil and vegetable oils typically are much lower in saturated fat. To find vegan butters higher in saturated fats, you might have to look for a product that contains some coconut oil, instead of butters mostly composed of other lower-fat oils.
Infusing a vegan butter for your cannabis infused edibles is essentially the same process as infusing a cannabis oil: decarb your
For a full rundown of making cannabutter, check out our
Other Common Ingredients and Substitutions
Beyond just looking at infused oils and butters, there are a lot of non-vegan-friendly ingredients in staple cannabis edible recipes, especially sweet treats like
Oftentimes, it’s super easy to navigate — remember, this is the golden age of vegan options. If your recipe calls for a milk
Some ingredients, however, aren’t as straightforward to substitute. Here are some commonly used ingredients and their best vegan alternatives:
There are a number of options to choose from here as well, though I generally say keep it easy and stick to flaxseed or cornstarch. Either way, it’s super simple.
For each egg, combine a single tablespoon of flaxseed meal to three tablespoons of water with a fork or a whisk. Let the mixture sit for about three to five minutes — it should look a bit thicker, almost gel-like. Similarly, you can combine two tablespoons of cornstarch with two tablespoons of water, mix until it’s well combined and gelatinous and you’ll have a replacement for one egg
Sweetened Condensed Milk
You’ve got a few options here. A full-fat coconut milk will work, though you may consider adding a bit of extra sweetness to the mix. This is best done by using a third-cup of maple syrup or
The sweetener is not required, but it’s the best way to get as close as possible to sweetened condensed milk.
I’ve also found that cashew cream is a good option, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of mixing together your own vegan condensed milk.
OK, I did say that you can simply go with your favorite plant-based milk if needed, and I stand by it. Though, I have a few quick tips about vegan milks and recipes to share anyway.
I won’t lie, almond milk and rice milk are my personal least favorites. They’ll work for whatever you need them to, but I find they both lack flavor compared to some of the other options. If you’re looking to make something
For baking, try to stick with unsweetened flavors; otherwise you might find your final product is a little sweeter than it should be.
Final Thoughts on Vegan Cannabis Recipes
There has truly never been a better time to embrace plant-based foods AND to start cooking with cannabis. Fortunately, there are plenty of accessible recipes for vegan cannabis edibles online.
Whenever I write about cannabis edibles at High There, I always try to ensure I can include quick and easy plant-based substitutes. Though, I’ll still stumble upon edible recipes where I have to do a bit of quick thinking if I want to enjoy the delicious final product while sticking to my vegan diet.
Many grocery stores carry plenty of vegan substitutes, easy to quickly switch out, and knowing just a few quick tricks can help immensely to navigate ingredients and baking staples like eggs and milks. If you’re simply looking to infuse your meals and use cannabis in more of your general cooking, I’ll always stand by
While I am fully plant-based, I recognize that conversations around food and diet are complicated. Veganism works for me, though I know there that plant-based diets can be inaccessible depending on where you live and may just not be the right option for many people, for a variety of reasons.
Even if you aren’t ready or don’t want to take the plunge to full-fledged veganism, I implore you to try incorporating more plant-based foods and meals into your normal routine. And while you’re at it, throw in some cannabis and see how you feel!