Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese
2 lobsters, about 1½ pounds each
¾ pound cavatappi pasta
1¼ cups whole milk ricotta cheese
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cannabutter, melted*
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and pepper, as needed
1 pound Gouda, grated
½ pound Cheddar, grated
Plunge lobsters into boiling water for 2 minutes until they stop moving. Remove with tongs, separate tail and claws from the body. Cook claws for 3 minutes more and tails 5 minutes more.
Transfer to a large bowl of ice bath to cool. Remove meat over a small bowl to reserve juices; chop into bite-sized chunks; set aside. Bring a pot of salted water to boil, add pasta and par cook, about 4 minutes; drain.
Puree ricotta, add milk, cream, cannabutter, mustard and cayenne. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl and combine with grated cheeses and pasta. Transfer to a greased 9x13 casserole dish, cover with foil and bake in a preheated 375 F for 20 minutes. Uncover, stir in lobster meat and juices and continue baking 20 to 25 more minutes. Makes 8 to 10 servings, each about 8 mg THC based on a 15 percent THC strain.
Pull Out the Pot: How to Make Cannabutter
Julia Child once said, “With enough butter, anything is good.”
As a woman ahead of her time who taught America how to recognize and cook good food, Child would have appreciated cannabutter. That’s not to suggest she would have cooked with it, but Child might have regarded butter as an efficient vehicle to infuse food with the medicinal properties in cannabis, most notably tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, for that “high” sensation and cannabidiol, or CBD, the nonpsychoactive component.
Making cannabutter can be messy and time- consuming, though the latter varies. The method from chef and cookbook author Jeff Danza adds a step to reduce the taste of cannabis but prolongs the process. He uses a French press, which eliminates the mess of cheesecloth and its expense. If your recipes mask or complement the taste of weed, skip the soaking and drying stages and go straight to decarboxylating (aka decarbing) the cannabis.
Decarbing, essentially heating cannabis in an oven at a low temperature, activates and maximizes its medicinal properties. After decarbing, these properties are infused into the butter—or any other fat—through additional heat. If you pass on the French press method and cheesecloth, use a fine mesh strainer or a chinois, a tool that professional chefs use for schwag-free results. Remember that this multi-step recipe requires more than a day, so plan accordingly.
Now watch Danzer make cannabutter. The author of “The 420 Gourmet: The Elevated Art of Cannabis Cuisine” (HarperCollins, 2016) calls it a “light tasting” cannabuter, referring to the flavor of weed, not the fat content.