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Cheri Sicard’s Hempy Holiday Kitchen

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Festivus. Regardless of what holiday you celebrate at this time of year, friends are sure to gather around the table to feast on all their traditional favorites—roast turkey with all the trimmings, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and so on. These favorite foods could also contain an extra celebratory ingredient, cannabis, which can present a conundrum for the holiday host: How do you medicate only part of the meal, and clearly separate the medicated dishes from the unmedicated foods, so the wrong people don’t eat the right foods?

Answer: Make individual, portion-controlled medicated dishes for specific guests. Forget about medicating the turkey; there really isn’t a reliable way to baste the entire bird with pot. But big-meal side dishes and desserts make a wonderful culinary canvas to enhance with Mary Jane.

Holiday Basics 

Cranberry Sauce: Stir some decarboxylated kief or ground hash into your favorite cranberry sauce recipe about a minute before the end of cooking. Chill as usual.

Gravy: Swap in canna-butter for the butter in the roux that forms the base of many gravy recipes. To preserve the THC, cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, just until the roux has the right consistency (be careful not to brown it), before adding to the pan drippings.

Salad Dressings:
Use canna-oil in your favorite salad dressing recipes.

Mac and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes and Pie Crusts:
All these holiday meal staples contain plenty of butter that can be partially or fully swapped out for canna-butter.

Coffee or Hot Chocolate:
Stir a little decarboxylated kief discreetly into a hot cup of coffee or chocolate, and you have an instant medicated beverage.

Ramekins to the Rescue: These small, round porcelain dishes are the medicated cook’s best friend. I use them to make individual-sized portions of edibles that are clearly separate from the rest of the meal. They’re so inexpensive ($1–$2 each) that you can afford to buy lots of them. Ramekins are easy to tuck into small spaces around bigger baking pans in the oven, a real plus since oven real estate is always at a premium when making a large dinner.

Tips for Hosting the Holiday Meal

I’ve singlehandedly served a full holiday dinner, everything homemade from scratch, for as many as 40 people. Here are my tips for hosts and hostesses:

• Don’t do it all yourself: Guests are more than happy to help. Assign different people different dishes, so you don’t have to take on the entire task and expense. I usually do the turkey, the dressing and the desserts, and let others help with the rest.

• Organize, organize, organize: Make lists, including a detailed shopping list, so you don’t have to run out for forgotten items. Create a timeline of everything that needs to get done before the big meal and when it needs to get done by. Allow time for housecleaning, and washing tablecloths and napkins, and make sure you have enough roasting pans and serving dishes.

• Make dishes ahead of time: Many recipes can be prepared in advance. Make a list of everything you possibly can do early and how far in advance you can do it, and then get those chores out of the way as soon as possible. For instance, the pumpkin cheesecakes, dressing, kugel, casserole and streusel topping for the sweet potatoes in this article can be made several days in advance.

Brine the Turkey: Nobody likes dry turkey. To insure a moist, juicy bird, take the extra step of brining the turkey before roasting. For a 12-lb. turkey, heat about a gallon of water. Dissolve 1/2-cup of salt and 1 cup of brown sugar in the water. Add 3 or 4 bay leaves and about 20 whole peppercorns. Cool completely before submerging the turkey in the brine, along with some ice to keep everything nice and cold. Refrigerate for 12 hours. Remove from brine and pat dry an hour before roasting. No room in the fridge? Place the turkey and brine in a large roasting bag, close it off and place in a cooler chest filled with ice.

The inevitable leftovers: Whether you hoard them for yourself or send your guests home with doggie bags, be sure to have containers and plastic storage bags on hand to wrap up the leftovers.

 Holiday Recipes


Kushy Kugel

The ultimate Jewish comfort food—rich egg noodles baked with a slightly sweet, raisin-studded creamy butter sauce.

  • 3/4 lb. egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup cannabis-infused butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 lb. cottage cheese
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 8 small, 1/2-cup ramekins. Set aside. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling, add noodles and cook for about 4 minutes—noodles should still be al dente. Drain. In a large bowl, mix cooked noodles with remaining ingredients and toss to combine well. Divide among the prepared 1/2-cup ramekins. Bake until they set and tops are beginning to brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves: 6


Ganja Green Bean Mini Casseroles

This classic comfort food side dish is an integral part of the holiday feast.

  • 3 cups fresh green beans, tips removed, halved widthwise
  • 2 tbsp. cannabis-infused butter
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onions
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can (2.8 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1-1/2 cups French-fried onions, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat over to 375 degrees F. Butter four 1-cup ramekins. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add beans and cook for 3 to 4 minutes (they should still be semi-crisp). Drain beans and set aside. Melt the canna-butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.   Remove from heat and add the drained beans, cream of mushroom soup, 3/4 cup of the French-fried onions and salt and pepper. Stir to combine well and divide among 1-cup ramekins. Top with remaining fried onions and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through and beans are tender.

Serves: 4


Herbed Apple Dressing Casseroles

I like to use sourdough bread to cut into cubes for this fruity dressing recipe, but you can use other types of savory breads, as well.

  • 2 tbsp. cannabis-infused butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup peeled, diced apple
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 cups stale bread cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 3/4 tsp. dried sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 teaspoons butter, plus extra for greasing ramekins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter four 1-cup ramekins. Set aside. Melt canna-butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, apple and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in the thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Add to a large bowl along with the bread cubes, parsley and egg. Mix well.  Add stock and mix until all ingredients are combined. Divide among the prepared ramekins. Dot butter on top of each ramekin and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through and starting to brown on top.

Serves: 4


Streusel Stuffed Sweet Leaf Potatoes

Your dab torch will come in handy for this recipe.

  • 4 large sweet potatoes or yams
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. cannabis-infused butter, chilled
  • 2 tbsp. butter, chilled
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecan pieces
  • 1/3 cup miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Scrub potatoes well and prick with a fork several times. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the potato goes in easily. While sweet potatoes are baking, prepare topping. In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Cut butters into small pieces and, using a fork, mix with sugar mixture until topping resembles coarse crumbs. (You can also use a food processor.) Stir in the pecans and set aside. When potatoes are cooked, remove from oven and slice them down the center lengthwise. Push the ends toward the middles so the potatoes open up. Stuff each potato generously with topping and return to oven and bake for about 15 minutes more or until sugar and butter are melted and bubbling. Remove and top each potato with miniature marshmallows. Return to the oven just until marshmallows start to brown, about 6 minutes. For a better presentation, add marshmallows to the potatoes and simply use your dab torch to quickly brown the tops.  Serve immediately.

Serves: 4


Mini Pumpkin Cheeba Cheesecakes

Use ramekins to make each guest their own individual medicated pumpkin cheesecake.


  • Butter for greasing ramekins
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp. melted cannabis-infused butter


  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  •  1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  •  1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  •  1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter six 1/2-cup sized ramekins. Melt canna-butter and mix with graham cracker crumbs. Use your fingers to press a layer of crust mixture over the bottom and about halfway up the sides of each prepared ramekin. Prebake crusts for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and prepare the filling. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg, vanilla and spices, mixing until just combined (do not overbeat). Spoon into each ramekin until 2/3 full. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until set with a slightly jiggly center and puffed around the edges. Cool completely in ramekins (don’t worry if center sinks). Once cool, run a knife around the inside edge of ramekin and carefully invert to remove cake. Place each cake on a serving plate. Fill center with a dollop of whipped cream garnished with a slight dusting of nutmeg.

Serves: 6

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