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.

Colorado was become a magnet for pot-lovers, attracting passionate fans of the plant to bask in the freedom of the nation’s first fully legal cannabis market. Many young people come to the state looking for work in the burgeoning business, with a March job fair attracting thousands of people excited about newly legal opportunities to serve as budtenders, cultivators and edibles makers. But for those without connections, finding employment can be difficult. Daniel Henrickson, newly employed as a cultivation assistant at Fox Street Wellness, struggled for years before landing his gig. “It’s really about who you know,” Henrickson says, “so Fox Street was a rare find!”

A legal medical marijuana patient since 2009, Daniel uses marijuana to treat HIV, and says homophobia is still present in an otherwise progressive industry. “It’s a lot of straight guys, and as a gay man, I feel that I can’t be myself… there’s a feeling that you’re unwelcome. Luckily, Fox Street wasn’t like that.” 

The boutique dispensary stocks about 40 strains of high-quality organic cannabis along with edibles and concentrates, and is currently expanding their cultivation facilities to meet demand. Fox Street is also pursuing a license to create to medically-infused products (MIPS), which Daniel hopes will allow him to create edibles commercially. “I could always bake,” he says, “but I go further and make every effort to get my edibles picture-perfect!”

Before starting at Fox Street, Daniel was able to make ends meet by crafting small batches of infused goodies for clients on a special order basis under his handle Cousin D. Working with a private caregiver, Daniel discovered that just about anything could be infused with cannabis. “I would never tell someone that I didn’t know how to make something!” he exclaims, “No matter what they wanted, give me an hour and I can figure it out.” 

New regulations for edibles in Colorado have driven many amateurs from the marketplace, which has resulted in better quality in the industry overall. “I like the new rules,” Henrickson explains, “there needs to be quality and safety checks, just like any other food item.” 

After being gifted a batch of butter infused with Pineapple Diesel, Daniel created these delectable delights, matching the flavors in the butter to his chosen recipe for an extra level of sophistication. These cakes are gluten-free, but regular cake flour can be used for the same delicious results!

Mini Pineapple Diesel Upside Down Cakes

-1 1/2 cups brown sugar
-1/2 cup regular unsalted butter (for the brown sugar layer)
-12 maraschino cherries
-2 20 oz cans of pineapple rings (reserve 4 tbsp. of the juice)
-1 cup of cannabutter
-2 1/2 cups sugar
-5 eggs
-1 teaspoon almond extract
-3 cups gluten free* cake flour (I used King Arthur brand)
-3 teaspoons xanthan gum
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 1/4 cups coconut milk
*You can use regular cake flour instead of the gluten-free if desired, just omit the xanthan gum too.

Pineapple Frosting:
-8 oz cream cheese
-4 tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice
-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Bun pans large enough to hold pineapple rings. Alternatively, you can make two standard nine inch round cakes. I used a “Texas-sized” cupcake pan.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour pans. Sprinkle two tbsp. of brown sugar on the bottom of each baking cup, along with ½ tbsp. regular butter. Lay a pineapple ring in the bottom of each cup and place a cherry in the center. 

Mix cannabutter, sugar, eggs and almond extract in the bowl of a mixer on the “blend” setting until creamy. In separate bowl, mix flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. In the mixer bowl, alternately add the flour and coconut milk until combined. 

Distribute batter over the tops of each pineapple, filling cups three-quarters full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes for mini-cakes and 40 to 45 minutes if using standard nine-inch rounds. Let cool completely on rack, and work a butter knife around the edge of each cup. Place a baking sheet over the cupcake pan, invert and release. Combine frosting ingredients in mixer and blend until thoroughly combined. If frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. Frost cakes and decorate sides with chopped nuts. Enjoy! 

*Stones 24, each cake is two servings.