Welcome to Psychedelicatessen, a weekly column exploring the world of cannabis cuisine, including recipes from the great chefs and ganjapreneurs who fuel our appetite for adventure.

Hordes of health-conscious cannabis consumers ready to move beyond brownies are flocking to Auntie Dolores, a San Francisco-based edibles company run by the charismatic Julianna Carella, a Nor-Cal native with training in homeopathy. Since 2011, Auntie Dolores has worked to stay “one step ahead of the crowd” and become a leader in providing health-positive, cannabis-infused foods that are always lab-tested for consistency. While the small business has experienced growing pains from day one, Auntie Dolores is currently busy branding and expanding. “You’ll see us soon in Nevada, Colorado, Washington and Oregon,” Carella says, “And we’ve got exciting new products in the works too!”

Julianna believes in a “small bite, large taste” philosophy and has refined her extraction techniques to pack a potent punch into small portion sizes to deliver the maximum amount of medicine to patients without adding too many calories. “Just say no to carbs and fat,” says Julianna, “Digesting heavy foods gets in the way of dosing.” 

While Auntie Dolores still creates traditional brownies, including a super-potent Chocolate Fudge Cake with 500 milligrams of THC, Julianna sees emerging trends towards healthier options boosting sales of her savory products, including chili-lime peanuts, pretzels and cheese crackers.“ Our best selling product is the savory pretzels,” Julianna remarks, “We’re selling 30,000 bags of pretzels yearly.”

In an effort to include patients with dietary restrictions, Auntie Dolores designed the savory products to include vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free items, and has begun a new initiative to add superfood ingredients to her edibles, boosting their nutritional value and creating more high-functioning foods. One such new vegan product, called Chocolate Sparkle Cookie Bites, contain cacao nibs that provide energy and focus. Each cookie contains 30 milligrams of THC, and with 20 cookies per bag. “It’s really easy for patients to titrate their own dose,” Julianna explains, since you can munch another cookie or pretzel as needed throughout the day. "People like to eat 3 to 10 pretzels at a time.”

Auntie D’s Sweet & Spicy Nuts are glazed with a ganja infusion that’s sweet and savory, with deep umami flavors for a very satisfying snack! Due to the high expense of premium nuts, this recipe hasn’t made it onto the regular menu, but Julianna reserves this specialty for holiday gift-giving, saying, “People love it, we’re very popular at Christmastime!” The addition of Brazil nuts adds an extra-luxurious touch, and these large nuts are sustainably harvested from ancient rainforest trees, offering an incentive for local people to become stewards of their forests instead of harvesting trees for lumber. Brazil nuts contain high levels of selenium, an important trace element for excellent health, so get more nuts into your diet today! 

Featured at a recent potluck for Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, these delicious ganja-glazed nuts were so popular that the entire bowl disappeared in about five minutes! Use them to top a salad with mixed greens, luscious pears and goat cheese, or just snack away! Perfect for patients on the go, just one handful of these savory treats will keep you elevated for hours. 

Auntie D’s Sweet and Spicy Nuts

Auntie Dolores loves the marrying of sweet and spicy flavors. You can use pecans or walnuts for this recipe, which makes a great pre-meal snack (the best time to medicate with edibles) or as a topping for salads. The balsamic vinegar and chipotle powder not only compliment one another, but successfully mask the flavor of cannabis. The glaze sauce is the perfect consistency to coat the nuts and encapsulate the medicine and flavors during the cooking process.

One tablespoon of Auntie D’s butter is enough to medicate 10-12 people.  This recipe calls for 1 tablespoon cannabis butter and ¼ c. virgin (non-medicated) butter.  Depending on the strength of your cannabis butter, you can substitute a larger or smaller portion and make up the difference with virgin butter.  If you are unsure about the strength of your butter, you can try the ratio below to see if it is sufficient for the serving size of ½ cup of nuts per person.

Serving Size:  ½ cup

Servings per recipe batch: 10

Ingredients:
-5 c. walnuts, pecans and Brazil nuts
-1/3 c. Balsamic vinegar
-1/4  c. Butter (non-medicated), melted
-1 T. Cannabis butter, melted
-2/3 c. Brown sugar
-2 t. chipotle powder
-1 t. Sea salt
-3 pinches of Cayenne pepper

Directions:
Pour nuts into medium size bowl.  In a smaller bowl combine remaining ingredients and blend well with hand mixer forming a thick sauce.  Pour the glaze sauce over the nuts and coat well by mixing with a large rubber spatula.  Try to spread the glaze over the batch uniformly, making sure the nuts are all evenly coated. This will insure that your potency is consistent throughout the batch.  

Pour out onto sheet pan, arranging the nuts so that there is minimal overlapping. Roast for 30-45 minutes at 300 degrees. After the first 10 minutes, take the pan out and use a metal spatula to scrape any glaze that has begun to stick to the pan. Continue to stir and evenly distribute the glaze as much as possible over the nuts. The object is to keep the coating on the nuts, without letting it stick to the pan. Sprinkle more chipotle powder (if you like spicy) and salt. Return to oven for duration, turning once more in a few minutes if needed. Nuts should appear shiny and somewhat dark when they are done. Remove and leave nuts in pan to cool and when they are completely cool, transfer them to a bowl or bag.