Comfort Food for Body & Mind
is a comprehensive cookbook that any cannabis foodie is sure to appreciate.
Released last fall, the attractive paper-back has exceeded all expectations at Quick American Publishing, according to author Sandy Moriarty.
Since 1974, Moriarty has cooked with cannabis and shared her food with patients in need. Aunt Sandy’s edibles are sold at Blue Sky Coffeeshop in Oakland, California and in other locations around the San Francisco area.
She’s cooked since she was a teenager, for family and for work, has had a career in food service, and still caters. One of her daughters is a chef and another works in a bakery; both assisted with the creation of this book, which she considers a labor of love. Also a medical marijuana advocate, she felt safer practicing her craft following the passage of Proposition 215.
Through experimentation with marijuana, she learned that food helped her brother with chronic pain. Over time, she learned how to improve the taste of the food by lowering and even eliminating the overpowering cannabis flavor. An energetic soul, she laughs while talk-ing. Her enthusiasm in teaching the art of medical cannabis cooking is infectious.
“All of a sudden I realized that, wow, I’d struck gold,” she said. “It was up to me to get out there and share my process, and my material, with the world.”
In an easygoing, engaging style, the seasoned cannabis chef shares her secrets, including her recipe for Aunt Sandy’s 10x Cannabutter, the building block for com-plete meals including appetizers, entrees, sides sauces, soups, snacks and desserts. Her incredibly detailed book delves into cannabis measurement and portion potency. Moriarty does not believe in using crockpots to make cannabutter.
“Everything that comes out of the crockpot is going to be inferior because the crockpot always leaves condensa-tion,” she explained.
Paying particular attention to the temperature (too high will destroy cannabinoids), and using what she calls a pot roast theory, she boils it until all of the moisture has been boiled out. When nothing but butter sludge clings to the cannabis, the mixture is strained.
“You’re left with a beautiful, bullion type of concentrate,and it’s totally different than something that’s made in a crockpot,” she said. “The resulting butter is incredible.
By cooking it for a long period of time, you cook through the ganja state so that it does not taste like cannabis at all. It tastes nutty, buttery and wonderful, so that any recipe that you put it into is going to be deli-cious.”
Like any good cook, Moriarity does not believe in wasting product. She’s found that the blender is a fantastic way to incorporate the butter into sauces, marinades and salad dressings. While still in experimentation mode, she used a blender to pulverize the trim, which is often discarded as being not as desirable as buds, into a fine green flour-like powder. She knew that if her cannabis flour was heat-activated, it would be similar to lighting a joint. She tried using it for brownies. While tasty, they were hard as rocks.
“At that point, I used it to make some of the greatest fried chicken ever,” she said. “I tell people, it’s wonder-ful. Put it in your prairie chicken or whatever you’re going to make. After all, you’re adding rosemary and basil; might as well toss in a little cannabis too. It’s won-derful.”
When Moriarty teaches cannabis cooking at Oaksterdam University, America’s first cannabis college, the conversa-tion always comes around to medicating with cooked product. One way to control a medicine dosage is with the green flour, which, she advises, is not as strong as the cannabutter.
“You can actually have a piece of fried chicken for lunch and go to work,” she said. “We discuss mild forms of medicating versus very, very potent forms that will knock you out for three days.”
Her students get the inside scoop on the Dizzy Bird. While experimenting, she learned that a turkey basted with 10x cannabutter will yield the full range of benefit, from mild to powerful. While the turkey meat has been lightly infused, the gravy and stuffing, dripping in butter, pack a powerful punch.
“My favorite is the Dizzy Bird, just because of the reac-tion I get from everybody,” she said. “I want to teach stu-dents that they need to know how to titrate their edibles. Just eat a little bit so that they can enjoy it and not over-medicate. With the Dizzy Bird they can control doses. If they want to go strong for three days, they can. For a milder form, go with a turkey sandwich.”
Because edibles make many people tired, many eat them at night when they also crave sweets. Her mixed nuts recipe is for those who might like a late-night snack but are also trying to cut out the sweets.
Cannabis tincture is powerful medicine. One drop under the tongue is often recommended for a good night’s sleep. Aunt Sandy’s Medical Marijuana Cookbook, the official course book of Oaksterdam University, includes a recipe for 10x tincture.
For a little fun with the tincture, she suggests to her classes that they make something similar to a rum cake with a store bought pound cake. Her method involves cutting off the bottom of the cake, setting it in the tincture, and slicing it after the potent liquid has completely soaked through.
“With a little whipped cream and strawberries or peaches, it’s really great,” she said. “All of a sudden your toes start to tingle. It’s really amazing and wonderful.”