I often experience the familiar aromas associated with cannabis, even when it isn’t around. This is especially true when cruising by the herbs at the local market, where I find myself doing a double take as familiar scents tickle my nose. Some examples include basil, dill, rosemary, pepper, citrus, hops, lilac, and lavender – and the list goes on.
But what do these ingredients have in common with cannabis? It turns out they all share similar terpene profiles.
Terpenes are the unique essential oils that are found inside each cannabis strain, giving the flower its aroma and flavour. These aromas are often noticeable when first opening a container of cannabis or when grinding it during the infusion process. Around the world, these flavours make up the cornerstone of many recipes. They add unique layers of fruit, spice, and heat that can accent an ingredient to bring it to new heights.
One of my favourite terpenes is caryophyllene, which has a spicy, fruity aroma and is found in black pepper. When black pepper is freshly cracked on a dry-aged cut of protein then placed on a hot charcoal grill, it immediately starts to combust, and a sweet and subtle peppery aroma comes through. That’s caryophyllene that you’re smelling.
Another one of my favourites is the fresh and sour taste of limonene, which is found in citrus fruit. It works amazingly well with lemon, bringing its floral notes to the foreground. You could try adding the zest of your favourite citrus fruit, whether that’s lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit to your next cannabis infusion. In a previous post on how to infuse different base oils for cooking with cannabis I use a recipe for lemon infused Spanish olive oil. Drizzled on a salad of arugula and parmesan, this really is a peppery umami flavour bomb.
Finally, pinene (found in rosemary and basil) is a lovely terpene, with a somewhat rich and spicy, caramelized citrus aroma that works really well with sweet cream. I love rosemary in sweet applications such as a dark 65-70% cocoa; it gives the chocolate a rich, savoury finish. Using rosemary is a unique alternative to the classic chocolate and mint pairing.
Here are three simple recipes for cannabis crackers, each highlighting one of the three terpenes outlined above. Each recipe is formulated for using low-dose cannabis oil, making these crackers a great way to microdose at your next dinner party. The question now: what are you going to top yours with?
In a medium sized mixing bowl, add all your dry ingredients*.
In a separate, smaller mixing bowl add ice water, olive oil, and cannabis oil* (choose a strain which highlights the respective terpene) and whisk together to form a temporary emulsion.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry. At first, the dough will be easy to mix; when it starts to form a ball, switch to kneading with your hands. The cracker dough will become tense and stiffen (if it becomes too stiff to knead, cover loosely with a damp towel for about 5 minutes and the dough should relax and become easier to mix). Keep kneading the dough until it becomes smooth.
Let the dough rest for 1 hour or for best results, overnight. This allows the flour to hydrate properly.
Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a floured cutting board. The thinner the dough is rolled, the crispier and more palatable the cracker will be. Cut the dough into squares and place on a parchment lined baking tray. If you’re feeling creative you can brush with egg wash and dust with hemp hearts or another seed of your choice.
Preheat oven to 365° F and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove the crackers from the oven and let cool completely before consumption. The crackers will become crispier as they cool. They can be enjoyed on their own or topped with your favourite terpene-inspired topping/dip.
*THC concentration of cannabis-infused olive oil is dependent on personal preference. Zenabis does not recommend a specific dose, however it is important to “start low and go slow” with edible cannabis.