Let’s be real: Thanksgiving food all kind of tastes the same. Herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme are the cornerstone spices for savory dishes during this holiday and make appearances in nearly every dish, so I decided to lean into that by creating a cannabis and herb-infused cream that I could add into everything from my starter to my stuffing.
Because I’m lucky enough to have a high-tech cannabis device like the Ardent Nova FX, I’ve been able to make a wide variety of science-backed infusions. One of the things I like best about Ardent is that its founder, Shanel Lindsay, is committed to research-backed data that determines the efficacy of both decarbing and infusing using its device. They’ve tested everything to ensure that you are able to capture and maintain cannabinoids throughout the process – with a simple push of a button (it really is the easiest thing in the world to use).
The Ardent website makes all of this information readily available, along with helpful recipes for cannabis cooking basics, but when I saw that they had recently tested the potency of infused milks and creams made in the device, I was excited to have data-backed information off of which I could build my infusion. They found, unsurprisingly, that higher-fat creams captured more cannabinoids than milks, but less than oils or butters might: 50% for milk, 70% for cream, and more than 90% using oil or butter.
Armed with the knowledge I needed to dose my infused cream, I decarbed my OG Kush using the Arden’t decarb setting, before using the infusion sleeve to add cream, rosemary and thyme to my cannabis. I let the infusion device do its thing, and the result was nothing short of savory deliciousness. Truly, I could eat this cream on a spoon it’s so good, with a lightly green flavor blending beautifully with the other herbs.
Because so many Thanksgiving dishes favor these flavors, taking one infused cream and adding it to three different dishes is easy and delicious. Scroll below for recipes for the infused cream (even if you don’t have an Ardent!), herb mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, and ginger butternut squash soup.
Infused Herb Cream
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
Amount of decarbed cannabis for desired dose *
1 sprig rosemary
3-5 sage leaves
3-4 sprigs thyme
Heat heavy cream, herbs and decarbed cannabis in a double-boiler over medium-low heat. Be careful not to scald. Let simmer for 2 hours. Use a cheesecloth to strain and remove cannabis flower and herbs.
*Because cannabinoids are fat-seeking, they will infuse more fully into a high-fat based product like oil or butter. Use a heavy cream to maximize the amount of cannabinoids captured, but expect the dosage to be lower than what you’d capture with an oil or butter (70% versus 90%-ish). Also, the amount of cannabis you use may impact the color of your cream. I used only 1-2 grams, so mine is mostly white with a faint cannabis flavor.
Ginger Butternut Squash Soup
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and diced
1 butternut squash
1 large shallot, diced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 425-degrees. Peel butternut squash using a vegetable peeler; trim ends and cut in half. De-seed and halve again. Rub generously with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast for 45 minutes, turning pieces halfway through to get maximum caramelization.
Over medium heat, add olive oil to a large pot; add diced shallots and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Sautèe for 3-5 minutes, and add ginger, stirring occasionally. Once fragrant and shallots are light brown, add apple cider vinegar. Reduce heat and let simmer on low until butternut squash is done, stirring occasionally.
Once squash can be easily pierced by a fork at its widest part, remove squash from oven. Roughly chop into 1-2-inch cubes, and add to simmering pot. Add enough vegetable broth to cover, and bring to a low boil. Remove from heat, and puree using an immersion blender. Add additional vegetable broth as needed for desired thickness.
Serve with a drizzle of infused herb cream and fresh cracked pepper.
6 Portabella mushroom caps, cleaned
1 large shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper
Splash of soy sauce
In a skillet, heat olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and add shallots. Cook until soft. Add mushrooms, thyme, sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Make a roux by slowly sprinkling in flour and stirring frequently; add vegetable broth, stirring frequently until base is thick. Use an immersion blender to thoroughly combine; add additional vegetable stock as needed. Season with salt and pepper and stir in infused herb cream.
Creamy Herby Mashed Potatoes
5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cubed
1 ½ sticks salted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 cup infused heavy cream
Add potatoes to a large pot of salted water; bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 25-30 minutes (you should be able to pierce them easily with a fork). Slowly heat infused cream and butter to a low simmer (you may also add herbs like sage and rosemary to the cream). Drain potatoes, and when cool enough to handle, use a ricer to mash potatoes (you may use a masher or stand mixer as well). Slowly stir in crème fraîche and infused cream mixture. Season with salt and pepper.