Cheese infused and inspired by Super Gabe Ozbourne will make a wonderful partner on any cheese board.

Photo credit: Leafly

As a cheese lover and cannabis consumer, the fantasy of an cannabis-infused charcuterie plate drove me to discover whether or not you could infuse cannabis into cheese.

The short answer is, yes. Yes, you can infuse cheese with cannabis, and today I’m going to teach you how. The following recipe makes a farmhouse or farm-style cheese, which I chose for its simplicity. This creamy, lactose-rich type of cheese require very few ingredients and is perfect atop crackers and breads.

Below is a short list of the ingredients and accoutrements you will need to start your journey as a novice infused cheesemaker.

Containers and Utensils

  • Measuring cup
  • Food thermometer
  • Cheesecloth (this comes in handy for making cannabis butter and coconut oil, too)
  • Food-grade twine/cloth string
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Sauce pot and glass nesting bowl to make a double boiler
  • 1 cheese bowl/ramekin 3-4 inches deep, preferably with a lid

Ingredients

  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Up to an 1/8th of your preferred variety of fresh cannabis
  • The juice of a whole lemon (2 – 4 teaspoons)
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Herbs (optional)

Extras

  • Crisps, rosemary crackers, bagel chips, crusty bread, etc.
  • Quince paste or apricot jam
  • Hard salami or cured prosciutto
  • Pistachios, heirloom tomatoes

Directions

As with all cannabis edibles, the first and most essential step is decarboxylating your cannabis flower.

Next, grind your cannabis into a medium fine consistency.

Place your cannabis in a small oven-safe bowl or dish and bake at 220 degrees for 30-60 minutes (or until the bud is nicely toasted and light brown throughout). Generally speaking, the more surface area the better, so a tray/baking sheet may work better than a bowl.

Prepare your double boiler by filling your sauce pot almost half full of water. Bring water to a boil and place glass bowl on top. This type of indirect heat will infuse your milk without scalding its delicate fats and proteins. Add your decarbed cannabis to the glass bowl and slowly pour in 2 cups of whole milk. Place a lid on your double boiler and let the milk infuse for at least 2 hours, stirring periodically to prevent a film from forming.

Strain your milk mixture through several layers of cheesecloth, squeezing the contents of all residual milk. This infused milk can be added to coffee, poured over cereal, or used in a variety of other recipes.

Add your cannabis-infused milk and the rest of your whole milk to a sauce pan. Place milk on medium-low heat and bring contents to about 175 degree Fahrenheit or right before it begins to simmer. At this point, pour in your half cup of buttermilk to add acidity and fat content to our milk mixture. (Remember, THC binds to fat, which is why fat is such an essential ingredient to cannabis edible infusion.)

Immediately add two teaspoons of lemon juice to your milk + buttermilk mixture and remove it from the heat. This will begin the curdling process, where the milk will separate in to curds (our future cheese) and whey (residual milk liquid leftover). This process should take about 10 minutes and leave you with a thick formation of curds atop the liquid whey.

Now we separate our curds and whey. Place several lays of cheesecloth over a strainer and place that strainer (or colander) over a bowl. Gently spoon your curds out of your bowl or pot. Do not smash them down just yet. Simply let the curds and whey separate, getting as much of the fatty curds as possible. Although your whey mixture might only have 1/10th of the potency as your fatty curds, save it for re-purposing in smoothies, pancakes, or sourdough bread.

Tie your cheesecloth tight with food-grade twine, then tie it to a wooden spoon and suspend it over a bowl for 30 minutes to drain the cheese of any excess liquids. After 30 minutes, open your cheesecloth and season your freshly made fromage blanc. At a minimum add salt, but feel free to customize your fresh cheese with herbs, spices, nuts, and berries. Pack your fresh cheese into a ramekin or serving bowl, cover, and let rest overnight. This will allow the cheese to gain a richer depth of flavor and be generally easier to serve.

Serve with a light drizzle of olive oil and cracked pepper, and bam, you’ve made homemade cheese! This creamy cheese can be used like a ricotta or cream cheese, so feel free to add it to or spread it on all sorts of foods. As with all edibles, dosage control is imperative. Start with less and enjoy your cheese over an afternoon. This will give you a better sense of the cheese’s overall potency and won’t be a total gut-bomb.

The very best flan recipe ever! Inspired by my eighth episode guest

Creamy and dreamy Flan just like Flcannabisqueen Johaira Cespedes it is sweet and delicious and of course infused just to make it more fun.

Ingredients

For the Caramel:

  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water

For the Custard:

  • 2 cups (16 fl oz/450ml) Cannabis infused heavy cream
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/225ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (8 oz/225g) canna sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Arrange eight (6oz) ramekins in a deep baking pan.
  • Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil. Set aside to use later.

To make the caramel:

  • Dissolve the sugar in the water and simmer until you reach a deep caramel. (Watch how to troubleshoot caramel for step-by-step instructions)
  • Once you’ve reached your desired color immediately pour the hot caramel into the bottoms of the ramekins, portioning it equally. Quickly and carefully swirl each ramekin to coat the bottom evenly. Set aside at room temperature to let the caramel harden.

For the Custard:

  • Combine the milk, cannabis cream, canna sugar, and salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla together.
  • While constantly whisking, slowly add the hot milk mixture to the eggs. Doing this slowly is called ‘tempering’ the eggs. 
  • Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any lumps.
  • Divide the custard evenly between 8 ramekins.
  • Pour the hot water from the kettle into the baking pan until it comes one-third of the way up the sides of the ramekins (be careful not to splash water into the custards).
  • Bake the custards for roughly 35 minutes or until the edges are set but the centers still jiggle slightly when gently shaken.
  • Note the custards will set firm once they have completely cooled down.
  • Carefully transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and cool completely. Cover the ramekins with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 3 days. 
  • To serve, run a small knife around the edge of each ramekin to loosen the custard. Quickly invert each custard onto a plate. If it doesn’t release right away, gently shake the ramekin from side to side a few times to help it out.
  • Serve as is in the caramel sauce that comes from the ramekin. Add a little cream and fruit if you want to go crazy. Heaven!
  • Cover and store the flan in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

The Last Avocado Toast Recipe You’ll Ever Need: Inspired by Rafael Alvarez

Avocado Toast Recipe
Photo: Jamie Vespa MS

Medicated Avocado Toast

Ingredients

  • ½ small avocado
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (1 oz.) slice whole grain bread, toasted
  • ½ teaspoon CBD infused extra-virgin olive oil
  • Toppings: Maldon sea salt flakes, red pepper flakes
  • More CBD infused olive oil to top

How to Make It

Step 1

In a small bowl, combine avocado, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Gently mash with the back of a fork.

Step 2

Top toasted bread with mashed avocado mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over desired toppings.

Chef’s Notes

For perfect avocado toast, ingredient quality is key. Use fresh, crusty whole-wheat bread and the best extra-virgin olive oil you can find.

What a better way to honor my sister in Oshun Jossie Matos, being on my show then with this traditional Dominican staple with a little extra special greenery.

Photo Credit: https://www.196flavors.com/dominican-republic-mangu/

Mangú (Mashed plantains)

This is one of the best known and most representative recipes of the Dominican cuisine. It could probably be called Dominicans’ official breakfast dish. A must-try for those sampling our cuisine. Learn how to make it with this simple step by step recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 Green Plantains Peeled and diced in half or quarters
  • 2-3 tbs CannaButter *or to taste
  • 2 Onions cut in rings
  • ¼ cup White Vinegar
  • Canola or Vegetable oil
  • Salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut onions into rings then add vinegar and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  2. Peel plantains and cut in half or quarter if you’d like it to cook through faster
  3. In a large pot over medium high heat, add plantain and another pinch or two of salt
  4. Allow plantains to come to a boil
  5. Remove plantains once they are soft
  6. While the plantains are boiling, saute onions, salt, and vinegar. Be careful not to burn yourself as oil may pop
  7. Once the plantains are ready, add butter, cold water or water from where the plantains were boiling, sauce from the onions and begin to mash
  8. Mash until plantains are velvety smooth
  9. In the end, add onions and sauce over top. Enjoy with fried Dominican Salami, Fried Dominican Cheese, and a Fried Egg for a traditional Dominican Mangu con Los Tres Golpes

NOTES

Mangu must be eaten when warm. Once it cool it will lose velvety texture. To avoid, feel free to mash plantains with cold water. This will slow down the rate at which the mangu hardens and loses texture.

At 3:04 pm December 4th 2008, I became a mother, and it was the most terrifying and shameful experience of my life…

Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.

Dr. Brene Brown
One of the first few pictures of Danny and I

Okay…okay let me backup. Don’t take that statement to heart, motherhood is a beautiful thing, especially for those that want it. I was never one that wanted that experience. I had been on the pill, and although not as diligent in my taking of it, I had every intention of not having any children. The pill was the best option besides abstinence for me to not undergo this experience that I didn’t want. Prior to being on the pill I had had two abortions and had vowed that if I ended up pregnant again I would bite the bullet and follow through with my responsibilities, hence why I was on the pill.

So as I lay in the operating room with a sheet covering my midsection feeling the tugging and pulling of my impending delivery, the only emotion I could conjure was fear. Fear and overwhelming guilt, I cried. Tears flowing freely as new life was brought from my womb. I looked at my father who had miraculously made it just in time to be there with me in the operating room and all I could repeat over and over was “I didn’t know, I didn’t know”, as Baby Boy Willoughby was rushed to the NICU.

See the thing with shame is that is a two fold emotion; usually self imposed and can also be societally enforced. Webster’s Dictionary defines shame as ‘a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.’ Becoming pregnant AND also not knowing that I was pregnant, doubled down with the lack of maternal sensibilities and just the basic necessities to care for another human being was enough to make me feel like there was a giant stone on my chest.

Danny was born via C-section under duress to say the least, he was 2 lbs 2 oz and after the first 24 hours I was able to visit him in the NICU. Needless to say this was a very awkward first meeting and as I saw this tiny human in a clear box under a ray of light all the joys of what should have been a wonderful first meeting was squashed under the weight of my guilt. What had I done? I thought of all the reckless behavior I had engaged in over the course of my pregnancy. Was I the reason he was this way? Am I even able to raise a child? Do I even want to keep him? Maybe I should put him up for adoption. These were the types of thoughts that whirled in my head. Not only was I questioning my own parenting capabilities, I also thought about my own biological mother and her lack of maternal inclination. Would I turn out like her?

He would go on to spend 5 months in the hospital and have over 7 surgeries in the span of 7 years. But luckily 11 years later he is a happy and relatively well adjusted child. Even with his disabilities he is a smart, witty young man that I am proud to call my son. Motherhood for me was a set of roller coaster emotions and situations that I couldn’t have gotten through without the support of my family and buddhist philosophy.

The full effect of my guilt and shame didn’t go away just because my son was a happy-go-lucky child. From long nights in hospitals, months of uncertainty, the pressures of new motherhood, providing as a single mother the stone became bigger and bigger over the first 4 to 5 years of Danny’s life. At the time I was using cannabis for relief to get high and enjoyed it occasionally for the euphoric state to alleviate some of the pressure that I felt I was under. As I became more involved in cannabis I began to question how I could use my cannabis to get from under this boulder of shame. Then I found microdosing!

Leafly offers this about microdosing “In the midst of a potency-obsessed market where high THC marks mean everything, there is a growing community of cannabis advocates that are pushing for less consumption as opposed to more. This tactic is called “microdosing,” a growing trend as cannabis consumption becomes more mainstream. Practitioners of microdosing are taking small amounts of cannabis in order to reap the medical benefits of THC while avoiding its psychoactive effects that can interfere with the demands of daily life.”

Microdosing became my saving grace, and one of my tools in my toolkit. I was able to still be a Mom while at the same time breaking down the walls and using therapy to confront my own feeling of shame or worthlessness and abandonment. As a new mother I carried not only my own strong feelings of shame and guilt but, as many new mothers know, there are the pressures of parenting experts, Instagram moms, other family members and ‘well-meaning’ public. If we don’t live up to this golden standard of motherhood that society places on new parents then we may experience of guilt tied to not fulfilling that standard. My own journey of motherhood was about quieting all those other voices and listening to what made sense to me.

The smiling boy.

While microdosing is my personal choice and it is something that each person needs to find for themselves I found that it is comparable to motherhood. It might never looks like what other people want or think you should be doing, but at the end of the day it has to be right for you. After years of therapy, my medicinal cannabis use, creating a tribe of other supportive mothers and listening more deeply to my own voice I can say that those feelings have subsided. I still battle these feelings from time to time but I stand stronger than ever before and have more energy to dedicate to being a imperfectly perfect mom to Danny. While this journey for me at times have been frustrating, sad, and overwhelming I know that I had to go through this to be able to share it and help other ‘moms who medicate’ and even new moms to not feel alone and supported in this time. My feelings of shame and guilt although not every woman’s experience, it is mine. I am so grateful to have had the use of cannabis to assist in being more present and appreciative for my son and the support that I have received throughout this journey. No matter what happens I know that I will be the best Mom for my son.