Mac and cheese is truly a treasure, as it is both one of the most popular comfort foods and easy to infuse with cannabis. The results are cheesy, creamy and deliciously crunchy. Instead of the standard breadcrumbs, the crunch in this mac and cheese comes from the topping mix of tortilla chips, potato chips and buttery snack crackers — which can also be infused if you’re looking to pack an extra punch. Also, thanks to the food miracles of modern science, you can substitute gluten-free pasta and crackers or dairy-free cheese to modify the recipe to fit your dietary needs. I’ve tried these versions and they’re not bad at all. Not great, but not bad.
In this recipe, the canna-butter is infused into the three-cheese sauce, so you can rest assured the servings will all contain a homogenous serving of THC as long as you spread the cheese sauce evenly. You can calculate the potency you desire by purchasing labeled canna-butter or making it yourself. If you choose to DIY, simply multiply the amount of flower you’re using by the percentage (in decimal form) of THC in the flower and that will tell you how strong your canna-butter is, though a small amount may burn off in the cooking process.
If you are a heavy hitter, you can also use some canna-butter to sauté the toppings, but one thing I try to stress is not to overdo the amount of cannabis in your food. Take it slow, get to know your dose and be considerate of others. You can always put some of infused toppings in a bowl at your adults-only table, so folks can help themselves to a higher potency if they wish.
INGREDIENTS — Serves 8-10
- 1 lb. pasta shells, or your preferred choice of shape
- 7 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons cannabis-infused butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 2 ½ cups half-and-half
- 4 cups cheddar, shredded
- 1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
- 1 cup whole milk mozzarella, shredded
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 10 oz. spinach
- 1 cup potato chips, crushed
- 1 cup buttery snack crackers, crushed
- ½ cup tortilla chips, crushed
- Heat oven to 340° Fahrenheit with the oven rack in the middle.
- Use about 1 tablespoon of butter to line the edges of a large casserole dish. I used an 8 ½ by 10-inch dish.
- In a pot of boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
- In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of cannabis-infused butter with 4 tablespoons of regular butter. Whisk in the flour to make a roux and stir for about 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk and the half-and-half until smooth. Stir in the cheeses over low heat until the cheese is melted and the sauce has thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of non-infused butter and cook the onion until it is caramelized and golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add the spinach and stir to combine until the spinach wilts. Set aside.
- Combine the pasta and the onion/spinach mixture with the cheese sauce, mixing very well to distribute the cheese evenly. Pour into the large buttered casserole dish.
- In the sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the crushed potato chips, crackers and tortilla chips and sauté until coated with the butter. Top the mac and cheese in the casserole dish with the crumb mixture. Bake until top is golden and edges of dish are bubbling, which should take about 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!
TELL US, what’s your favorite mac & cheese add-on?
Originally published in Issue 35 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE