A Great Match: Cannabis and Food Pairings

March 22, 2022

The advent of cannabis cooking shows, like ”Bong Appetit” on Vice and “Cooking with Cannabis” on Netflix got us thinking about cannabis and food pairings and how it might work for the every day home chef who wants to make food and cannabis work together.

There are currently 700 unique (original) strains and almost 4000 derivative strains from the originals. With new strains popping up all the time, there is so much opportunity to get crafty with food pairing and becoming a cannabis chef in the comfort of your own home. Whether you just want to make some appetizers or go high-end gourmet, here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Laying Down the Basics of Cannabis and Food Pairings

Everyone has heard about pairing alcohol with food. Well, pairing food with cannabis is quickly gaining popularity too. One of the coolest things about weed is that it brings you fully into the moment where you can focus on what you are doing and be really creative. 

 When pairing strains with food, the first thing to consider is terpene aroma. Be methodical about it, so you’re not just throwing any strain into any sauce or dressing, but really paying attention to how the strain properties will enhance the flavor, as well as provide the high you’re seeking. Even if you are just smoking a little while eating a meal full of  un-infused dishes, the pairing rules should be adhered to. Match the aroma to the dish’s flavor profile or choose one that contradicts it and balance things out.  Use your nose as a guide!

Cannabis Terpene Profiles to Consider When Pairing Cannabis and Food

  • Myrcene: clove, red-grape

  • Limonene: lemon

  • Linalool: lavender, mint, coriander

  • Caryophyllene: pepper, spice

  • Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene: pine

  • Alpha-bisabolol. Alpha-bisabolol:  chamomile, candeia tree

  • Eucalyptol: minty and cooling

  • Trans-nerolido: rose, lemongrass, apples

  • Humulene: sage, hops

  • Delta3 Carene: cedar, cyprus tree

  • Camphene: musky earth, damp woodlands

  • Borneal: mint, rosemary

  • Terpiniol: lilac, apple blossom

  • Valencene: orange, tangerine

  • Geraniol: grass, peach, plum

Start thinking like this—savory dishes are complimented well with Myrcene. Limonene pairs well with something sweet to counteract with a bit of tartness. These terpenes are also found in certain foods themselves, so caryophyllene that is found in black pepper would naturally pair well with a hearty sauce or pasta dish. These are some guidelines to start out with, but make it your own! Let your creativity flow, because you never know what may end up tasting extraordinary that nobody has ever done before. Then you can spend the rest of your high coming up with a fun name for your new invention. 

 What are your favorite strains? Study those profiles and pair them up to balance flavors instead of complimenting them. 

Here is an example of a delicious meal paired with specific strains to get your creative juices flowing!

Appetizer: Baked Brie with Mango Chutney with Cherry Lime Runtz

This strain is a hybrid with heavy Valencene terpenes. The THC can be mixed into the chutney through making a cannabis olive or coconut oil.

Salad: Wedge Salad with GG #4
This indica strain has Humulene terpenes that will compliment any salad with the taste of sage and hops. cannabis can be added to whatever dressing you choose by making cannabis butter or infused oil mixture.

Main Course: Boursin Chicken with asparagus with Chemdog cannabis

The peppery Caryophyllene terpenes in this strain are a perfect addition to the boursin cheese mixture. This strain has anti-inflammatory properties that can counteract the effects of the salt intake with this dish.

Dessert: French Apple Cake with Lemon Pound Cake cannabis

This dish is very rich, so the cooling minty properties of Eucalyptol in this strain balance things out nicely. Replace the butter in the recipe with Cannabis butter and you’ve got yourself an infused dessert.

After-Dinner: Espresso with Vanilla Kush

Like to consume after a meal? Smoke a smooth indica with Myrcene terpenes to make that after dinner coffee or espresso that much more enjoyable.

What makes cooking with Cannabis fun is you, so getting out of your comfort zone and adding weed to your favorite dishes can be a true adventure. Invite some friends over and enjoy the journey together!

Pro Tip:  Always incorporate CBD into your infused meal. Consider a mocktail creation with CBD. You’re going to want this meal to be something you remember fondly, so no more than 2mg THC in each serving of each course. Microdosing is the key to ensure you enjoy the rest of your evening with good conversation and a cocktail of your choice.