“Cheese is milk’s leap toward immortality” — Clifton Fadimen, American intellectual and author
As a cheese lover and cannabis consumer, the fantasy of an cannabis-infused charcuterie plate drove me to discover whether or not you could infuse cannabis into cheese.
The short answer is, yes. Yes, you can infuse cheese with cannabis, and today I’m going to teach you how. The following recipe makes a farmhouse or farm-style cheese, which I chose for its simplicity. This creamy, lactose-rich type of cheese require very few ingredients and is perfect atop crackers and breads.
Below is a short list of the ingredients and accoutrements you will need to start your journey as a novice infused cheesemaker.
Containers and Utensils
- Measuring cup
- Food thermometer
- Cheesecloth (this comes in handy for making cannabis butter and coconut oil, too)
- Food-grade twine/cloth string
- 2 mixing bowls
- Sauce pot and glass nesting bowl to make a double boiler
- 1 cheese bowl/ramekin 3-4 inches deep, preferably with a lid
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Up to an 1/8th of your preferred variety of fresh cannabis
- The juice of a whole lemon (2 – 4 teaspoons)
- Sea salt
- Herbs (optional)
- Crisps, rosemary crackers, bagel chips, crusty bread, etc.
- Quince paste or apricot jam
- Hard salami or cured prosciutto
- Pistachios, heirloom tomatoes
As with all cannabis edibles, the first and most essential step is decarboxylating your cannabis flower.
Next, grind your cannabis into a medium fine consistency.
Place your cannabis in a small oven-safe bowl or dish and bake at 220 degrees for 30-60 minutes (or until the bud is nicely toasted and light brown throughout). Generally speaking, the more surface area the better, so a tray/baking sheet may work better than a bowl.
Prepare your double boiler by filling your sauce pot almost half full of water. Bring water to a boil and place glass bowl on top. This type of indirect heat will infuse your milk without scalding its delicate fats and proteins. Add your decarbed cannabis to the glass bowl and slowly pour in 2 cups of whole milk. Place a lid on your double boiler and let the milk infuse for at least 2 hours, stirring periodically to prevent a film from forming.
Strain your milk mixture through several layers of cheesecloth, squeezing the contents of all residual milk. This infused milk can be added to coffee, poured over cereal, or used in a variety of other recipes.
Add your cannabis-infused milk and the rest of your whole milk to a sauce pan. Place milk on medium-low heat and bring contents to about 175 degree Fahrenheit or right before it begins to simmer. At this point, pour in your half cup of buttermilk to add acidity and fat content to our milk mixture. (Remember, THC binds to fat, which is why fat is such an essential ingredient to cannabis edible infusion.)
Immediately add two teaspoons of lemon juice to your milk + buttermilk mixture and remove it from the heat. This will begin the curdling process, where the milk will separate in to curds (our future cheese) and whey (residual milk liquid leftover). This process should take about 10 minutes and leave you with a thick formation of curds atop the liquid whey.
Now we separate our curds and whey. Place several lays of cheesecloth over a strainer and place that strainer (or colander) over a bowl. Gently spoon your curds out of your bowl or pot. Do not smash them down just yet. Simply let the curds and whey separate, getting as much of the fatty curds as possible. Although your whey mixture might only have 1/10th of the potency as your fatty curds, save it for re-purposing in smoothies, pancakes, or sourdough bread.
Tie your cheesecloth tight with food-grade twine, then tie it to a wooden spoon and suspend it over a bowl for 30 minutes to drain the cheese of any excess liquids. After 30 minutes, open your cheesecloth and season your freshly made fromage blanc. At a minimum add salt, but feel free to customize your fresh cheese with herbs, spices, nuts, and berries. Pack your fresh cheese into a ramekin or serving bowl, cover, and let rest overnight. This will allow the cheese to gain a richer depth of flavor and be generally easier to serve.
Serve with a light drizzle of olive oil and cracked pepper, and bam, you’ve made homemade cheese! This creamy cheese can be used like a ricotta or cream cheese, so feel free to add it to or spread it on all sorts of foods. As with all edibles, dosage control is imperative. Start with less and enjoy your cheese over an afternoon. This will give you a better sense of the cheese’s overall potency and won’t be a total gut-bomb.