Cooking with Marijuana Flowers: Using Weed Instead of Cannabis Butter or Oil 

By Cheri Sicard
June 5, 2019

Cooking with marijuana has come a long way since Alice B Toklas entertained Paris's literary and artistic elite by grinding up some marijuana buds and mixing them into her “Haschich Fudge.”   Today’s cooks rarely use buds or flowers in their concoctions, preferring instead to infuse the marijuana into oils and butter, or to cook with concentrates like hash and kief. But are there times when cooking with actual weed or bud makes sense?

Yes!  In some instances.

Marijuana Cooking: Why Cook with Buds or Flowers?

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  • Using bud in your recipes provides one of the easiest, most convenient, and most accessible methods of cooking with marijuana. Especially for beginners.
  • Most cannabis users always have bud on hand.
  • It’s economical as you can use just the amount needed for whatever you are cooking at the moment, as opposed to making a batch of infused butter or oil which will take an ounce or more.
  • You can use lesser quality smoking material – for instance weed that might be harsh or lack flavor – can still make great cooking material.
  • It’s quick and it’s simple – just decarboxylate your flowers and stir into the recipe mixture.

Forget Cannabis Flour When Cooking with Marijuana

cooking with marijuana buds or flowers

A perusal of internet marijuana recipes will turn up a fair number made with “cannabis flour,” which is nothing more than smokeable buds that have been ground into a fine flour-like substance. These recipes stir the “flour” into all sorts of foods, without thought of how it will affect the overall product.

Well, just because you CAN do something, does not necessarily mean you SHOULD. My experiments with cannabis flours yielded foods with a more pronounced herbal flavor that often had the added unwanted “bonus” of a funky texture. Yuck!

If you want to successfully cook with marijuana bud, use recipes where it makes sense from both a flavor and textural perspective. 

  • Be on the lookout for dishes that already use a lot of herbs as seasoning, then make cannabis just one more component of the herbal mélange.
  • Hearty sauces, soups, and stews all make good vehicles for carrying bud. Think of an Italian meat or marinara sauce -- in the presence of basil, oregano, and other Italian herbs, the flavor and texture of the marijuana blends right in.
  • My favorite bud recipes of all use ground meats. The fats in the meat help the bud metabolize and they meld into the mixture to the degree that most people will not even realize it is there, until the effects kick in.

Cooking with Marijuana: Best Bud Cooking Tips

Marijuana Recipes - POT Stickers

To get the best possible results when making cannabis edibles with marijuana buds or flowers, keep these simple tips in mind.

  • There’s no need to pulverize the buds into a flour, so likewise you won’t need a blender or food processor for the recipes in this article or anytime you are cooking with marijuana flowers. Simply grind or break up the flowers the same way you would if you were rolling a joint.
  • If you are making a slow simmering recipe, such as a stew or long cooking sauce, you can simply stir the ground flowers into the simmering liquid and allow the extended cooking time to infuse the THC into the food. Otherwise, see next tip.
  • Decarboxylation is the chemical process that changes the THC-A or acid in the raw cannabis plant into THC. (That’s right, there is no THC in raw cannabis). Place your plant material in an ovenproof dish and bake at 275 degrees F for abut 20 minutes before using in recipes. Yes the heat of cooking many recipes will decarboxylate your cannabis, but depending on cooking time and temps, it may or may not be enough. This extra step insures you will get maximum potency from your weed.
Cooking with Marijuana Buds or Flowers

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About the author

Cheri Sicard is the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, and The Easy Cannabis Cookbook.  Her online courses at have educated 1000s of students about marijuana, cannabis cooking for home cooks, and making infused topicals.

  • Hello, I made a cannabis coconut oil. With one gram of weed and 14 ounces of oil. I do t think that was enough weed. So my question is can I cook the same oil with more weed?

  • You’re so cool. I’m happy weed is legal in my area. (I can play with it in recipes because it’s easily available, what a great state!!) I’m 54 and thanks to your site just learned about decarboxylation! I have wasted A LOT of bud eating it. :/
    I had mouth work done and can’t smoke for a month so I gave my daughter all my weed but after finding your page I took it back. Thanks for the information.

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