Cooking with Cannabis: Wacky Mac n’ Cheese
‘Tis the season of parties, potlucks, and comfort food. Whether you are going out or staying in, an easy cannabis mac n’ cheese recipe that serves a crowd is probably just what you were looking for this fall. This wacky mac n’ cheese is a fun take on classic homemade mac n’ cheese, made even better with a delightfully relaxing cannabis breadcrumb topping, of course!
Wacky mac n’ cheese is the perfect dish for cooks of all skill levels because of its simple, almost fool-proof steps, and ability to please a big crowd. This recipe is versatile in that it can be made with or without cannabis, making it safe, and enjoyable for the whole family.
If you are using cannabis in this recipe, consider a using combination of cannabinoids that works well for the crowd you are hosting. Most of the time I make this recipe using a tincture with a 1:1 CBD to THC ratio but have also made it with a CBD-only product and enjoyed the results.
Since cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to reduce the feelings of impairment from THC, and may support feelings of alertness and positive mood, it is the perfect addition to edibles served in a social setting.
Just as there is wisdom in pairing CBD and THC, there may be wisdom in pairing cannabis with mac n’ cheese, similar to the way herbs are paired with fatty foods. After all, cannabis is used medicinally to soothe the gastrointestinal tract.
Around the world, herbs and spices are used when cooking rich or hard-to-digest foods. There appears to be some sage wisdom in that tradition since herbs and spices have powerful constituents in them that aid in digestion, often decreasing inflammation overall, and in the digestive tract.
Cannabis is known to reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and produces cannabinoids that bind with receptor sites all over the body, including the gastrointestinal tract. Along with aiding digestion, these herbs and spices are anti-inflammatory, and in many cases support gut health, pain management, and muscle spasms.
The benefits of turmeric, mustard, cayenne, and black pepper pair perfectly with the potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis. This recipe is indulgent, so including herbs and spices that support digestion and add complexity to this rich dish, will make you look like an experienced cook.
Editor’s Note: The following recipe is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen.
Wacky Mac n’ Cheese
- 1 c. Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 t. garlic
- 2 t. oregano
- 1 ½ T cannabis tincture or cannabis coconut oil
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni noodles
- 2/3 c. butter (1/3 c. butter for roux + 1/3 c. butter for breadcrumb topping)
- ½ c. flour
- 3 c. whole milk
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- ½ c. Greek yogurt
- 2 ½ c. sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 c. Swiss and gruyere or similar cheese, shredded
- 3 t. salt
- 2 t. dry or yellow mustard
- 1 t. turmeric
- 1 t. cayenne pepper
- 1 t. black pepper
- Cook elbow macaroni al dente, per instruction on package, drain, and set aside
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 3 quart or 9×13” baking dish
- In a bowl combine breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano, and tincture or coconut oil
- Add 1/3 c. melted butter to the mixture and combine until breadcrumbs are evenly coated and set aside
- In a large, deep skillet start the cheese sauce by making a roux: melt 1/3 c. butter over low heat, adding in the flour, half at a time, and stirring continuously until it has thickened, and is blended without lumps
- Turn the heat to medium and add milk, 1 cup at a time, stirring until mixture is fully incorporated
- Add cream cheese (diced) and Greek yogurt to skillet, stirring occasionally, allowing the cream cheese to melt
- Once mixture is incorporated into a sauce, add the spices, salt, and shredded cheeses
- Stir until cheese has melted
- Add the cooked elbow macaroni to the cheese sauce, incorporating it thoroughly. Note: a large skillet is needed for this step. If a smaller skillet was used, complete this step in a large bowl.
- Pour macaroni mixture into a greased baking dish
- Evenly coat the top with breadcrumb mixture
- Place in the oven to bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes
- Serves 10-12
A note on ingredients:
Tinctures purchased through dispensaries have the number of milligrams of each cannabinoid listed on the label. You will know how much CBD and THC your dish contains, and by dividing the total number of milligrams in an ounce of tincture by the number of individual servings in the mac n’ cheese.
Using an alcohol-based tincture may be more pleasant because it is likely none of the cannabis flavor will come through in the cooked dish. That said, if you love the herbaceous flavor of cannabis, you will love using cannabis coconut oil in this dish. Try this cannabis coconut oil recipe.
As always, label your cannabis edibles and enjoy with consenting adults. Have fun celebrating the season and laughing with friends over this pleasantly wacky mac.
Kathryn Cannon is an experienced Plant Medicine Integration Specialist, Cannabis Coach, and community herbalist. She founded Terra Uma LLC to empower clients to optimize performance, mental health, and overall wellness with cannabis, and other plants and fungi. Kathryn is also the founder of a lifestyle medicine center and urban farm in Portland, Oregon, and a cannabis collective and coaching practice in Washington, DC.
This recipe was not written or edited by Hearst. The authors are solely responsible for the content.