INTERVIEW: Making Edibles with The Wellness Soldier

Read time: 7 minutes, 26 seconds.

Craving for a cannabis treat for the holiday season, but don’t want to wait until edible products can be purchased in store? You can make your own at home. We are here to teach you how with cannabis cooking legend, The Wellness Soldier.  

Who is The Wellness Soldier? 

Cody Lindsay, also known as The Wellness Soldier, is Canada’s leading cannabis cooking educator with a focus on helping veterans. He has been featured on Bong Appetit, LeaflyLift&Co., CLN, CBC, CTV and more. 

Cody has been a chef for 20 years. He learned to be a cook while serving in the Canadian military. As part of his service, he was deployed on two tours in 2001 and 2005. Cody started using cannabis for medicinal purposes to treat his anxiety upon returning home from his deployment. Since exiting the military, he has earned his Red Seal chef certification and has worked in a variety of fine dining establishments. 

Ultimately, he was dismissed from the military in 2007 for his cannabis useShortly after his dismissal, he noticed that Veterans Affairs Canada covered medical cannabis through their insurance program. He started researching the medical benefits of cannabis and eventually created “The Wellness Soldier” to spread his newfound knowledge. He quickly received an outpour of support and interest from the veteran community about cooking with cannabis. Cody, with the help of his wife, then began to develop cookbooks, courses and digital content to educate and inform his niche audience of canna-curious veterans. 

The Wellness Soldier is an organization that teaches veterans how to cook with and consume cannabis. Cody and his team help raise awareness for a variety of cannabis brands and organizations while informing and educating the veteran community. 

Cody travels across Canada to spread his knowledge by performing on-stage demonstrations at a variety of cannabis and culinary expositions. Cody performed his first cannabis infused cooking demonstration at the very first Lift expo in Toronto. Since then, he has built a following, brand and reputation on teaching people how to cook with the plant. 

Make sure to follow The Wellness Solider on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

“20 years in the military, you even mention the word ‘weed’ and it’s basically grounds for dismissal right there. Now it’s being handed out as a medicine and nobody knows what to do with it. It’s super fun to teach people through our videos and social media.

How to Make Edibles at Home?

The easiest way to make your own edibles is by creating an infused medium and cooking with it or adding it to food products. Mediums can include butters, fats, the family of oils (olive, grapeseed, coconut, avocado) and even maple syrup, sugar, honey and vanilla extract. Cannabis can also be infused into alcohol-based tinctures. Basically, any consumable substance that will suspend the THC within it can be used as a medium. Below are instructions on how to create an infused medium.

Method

(choose 1)

  • Crock pot
  • Stove top
  • Oven

Materials

The materials required to make cannabis infused edibles at home ultimately depends on the extraction method you choose and the food product you would like to create.

Most edible recipes will require the following:

  • Kitchen

    Any standard household kitchen is perfect.

  • Cannabis

    1 cup, about 7-10 grams is recommended

  • Medium

    butter, oil, fat, honey, maple syrup, etc.

  • Culinary Tools

    bowl, safety gear, rubber spatula, whisk, strainer, cheesecloth

Decarboxylation

Decarboxylation is the process of activating the cannabinoids found within cannabis. When the cannabis plant is heated above 220 degrees Fahrenheit, a chemical reaction converts the THCa compound into THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main cannabinoid in cannabis that is associated with psychoactive effects. In order to ensure that your cannabis is activated, we suggest decarboxylating.

When deciding how much cannabis to use, we always recommend going “low and slow” for beginners. The effects that your edibles produce will be dependent on the quality and potency of the cannabis you use. Without knowing the specific factors, 1 cup (about 7-10 grams) of cannabis is a good amount to start with.

Here is an example equation that will help you determine the percentage of THC that will be in your edibles:

Step-By-Step

  • Grind your cannabis nugs into shake.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 220 Fahrenheit or 105 Celsius.
  • Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  • Distribute cannabis shake evenly throughout the baking sheet until it is one consistent thin layer.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 25 minutes.
  • Once your cannabis is dry, take it out of the oven and let is sit until cool.
  • Now your cannabis shake is ready to be infused into a medium.

Formula

  • Starting amount of grams = 15g
  • THC percentage per gram = 22% (revert to decimal)
  • Milligrams per gram .220 mg per gram
  • Amount of grams X milligrams (15 X 220) = 3,300mg THC-a
  • THC-a X .88 (Decarb) = 2,904mg THC
  • THC X .80 (For Loss) = Total

Cooking Methods – Step-By-Step

Crock Pot:

  1. Combine decarboxylated cannabis, medium and ½ cup of water in crock pot and let simmer for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Crock pots have the tendency to overheat and create “hot spots” within the infusion. Stir occasionally to help prevent this.
  3. Once the infusion is complete, strain the newly infused medium using a cheesecloth over a mesh sieve to remove any plant material.
  4. Pour your infused medium into a glass container for immediate use, or place in a refrigerator or freezer for long-term storage.

Stove Top:

  1. Combine decarboxylated cannabis, medium and ½ cup of water into a pot or saucepan.
  2. Let it simmer (maintain low heat between 160 Fahrenheit to 200 Fahrenheit) for 2 to 3 hours and stir occasionally to ensure even infusion.
  3. Once the infusion is complete, strain the newly infused medium using a cheesecloth over a mesh sieve to remove any plant material.
  4. Pour your infused medium into a glass container for immediate use, or place in a refrigerator or freezer for long-term storage.

Oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 225 Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine decarboxylated cannabis, medium and ½ cup of water in an oven-safe dish. We recommend using a square or rectangular pan.
  3. Place oven-safe dish into oven for about 30 minutes, then stir to ensure that all cannabis is submerged within the butter.
  4. Place oven-safe dish back into oven for approximately 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once the infusion is complete, strain the newly infused medium using a cheesecloth over a mesh sieve to remove any plant material.
  6. Pour your infused medium into a glass container for immediate use, or place in a refrigerator or freezer for long-term storage.

Once the medium is infused, it can be used in cooking or baking. Simply substitute the medium in any recipe for your infused recipe and voilà, you have your own homemade edibles. See below for an example recipe from The Wellness Soldier’s cannabis cookbook.

Infused mediums like honey and maple syrup can also simply be added to beverages (such as tea, coffee and smoothies) and foods (such as pancakes).

For more receipts visit The Wellness Solider website.

PRO TIP: if you are making canna-butter, it is beneficial to clarify the butter first. Clarified butter will look nicer and last longer. The fat solids in the butter are what goes rotten first. By separating these solids from the butter, you extend the shelf life of your infused medium.

The Wellness Soldier Famous Tarts

Dough Ingredients

  • 500 ml all-purpose flour
  • 125 ml butter
  • 125 ml cold water

Filling Ingredients

  • 60 ml cannabutter (softened)
  • 60 ml brown sugar
  • 125 ml corn syrup
  • 125 ml raisins (optional)
  • 10 ml vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2.5 ml salt

Pie Dough Recipe 

  • In a food processor mix flour and butter until incorporated.
  • Slowly add the water until the dough starts to form.
  • Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead.
  • Wrap with plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, rolling from the center, roll the dough until about 1/8-inch thickness.
  • Cut dough with a large circle cutter and add dough circle to a muffin tin.
  • Set full muffin tin aside until butter tart mixture is ready.

Tart Recipe 

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • In a medium bowl, mix butter and brown sugar until well incorporated.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Add mixture to the dough in the muffin tins.
  • Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes.
  • When finished, transfer to wire rack and allow butter tarts to cool down.

What is THC?

There are many acronyms associated with cannabis. You’ve probably heard the term “THC” before, but what is it exactly? The cannabis plant contains over one hundred chemical substances known as cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is the most common and well-studied cannabinoid.

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