Psychedelicatessen: Pot Pizza Night

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.

Frustrated by the lack of sugar-free, savory options in local dispensaries, health-conscious entrepreneurs Graham Cohen and sister Tatum teamed up with friend Sam Tayyari to launch a cannabis-infused pizza sauce company at the recent High Times Medical Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino. Canapa Edibles captured a second place award for their CBD-rich pizza sauce, giving this fledgling company a big head start on dominating the shelf-stable jarred sauce niche.

“Everything was based on sugar,” Tayyari said, describing the offerings at a local dispensary. “We wanted to get recognition for delivering a healthy option.”

Cohen has gone gluten-free and doesn’t consume sugar, so designing a product to fulfill his own dietary needs became part of the mission, and after market research revealed an opportunity in “the pizza space,” the crew jumped on the idea to develop a sauce.

“It’s intended specifically for people with cancer, who shouldn’t have sugar because it’s a known carcinogen,” Tayyari remarked. “It’s ironic in the medical cannabis community how few sugar-free options there are in dispensaries.”

Debuting their sauce to a discriminating crowd at the Cup, Cohen noticed that they were attracting positive feedback from a diverse customer base.

“Most of this market is boomers, and that consumer base wants information,” Tayyari said. “They’re not just going to toss an edible down the hatch without having test results, proper labels and accountability.”

While the sauce tastes fantastic and is shelf-stable for up to a year, there’s still some issues the team is working on concerning dosage and labeling. While the label claims 150 milligrams of active cannabinoids, our competition lab testing revealed much less as far as THC is concerned.

“That was a technical error,” Tayyari said. “It would have helped to clarify with a THC label, because we wrote ‘total active cannabinoids’ and that’s why our test results fell short. Our focus wasn’t necessarily for there to be this insane amount of THC like that’s the only goal because it would be ignoring the complete synthesis of the other cannabinoids: CBN, CBG and the CBD which is most popular right now, so we labeled the pizza sauce ‘150 milligrams active cannabinoids.’”

Tayyari and the crew at Canapa are continuing to perfect their product, and we discussed some ideas for additional experimentation. If the lab had put the sauce on a pizza and baked it at 550ºF for ten minutes, how much more of the THCa could have been converted to psychoactive THC? We will have to conduct some lab tests to find out!

Tayyari noted that many patients prefer to use the sauce for dipping, and we’re presenting a gluten-free flatbread recipe that you can pair it with. We also created a medicated pizza with goat cheese and arugula for a pizza night party.

After my husband and I moved to Santa Cruz from New York City in 2010, we were disappointed with many local pizza places, so we started making our own, and a new, fun tradition of “Pizza Night” was born. David makes the dough and sauce, friends bring their choice of toppings, we all indulge in an epic smoke session and then we create out-of-this-world pizzas for everyone to enjoy!

If you’d prefer a glutinous dough, use our favorite recipe from stoner chef Mario Batali, and you can medicate your own sauce easily using a cannabis-infused olive oil.

Garlicky Ganja Flatbread

This is a gluten-free recipe that uses alternatives to traditional wheat flour.

Crust Ingredients

1 cup white rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water, divided
1 Tbsp THC infused olive oil

Topping Ingredients

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted cannabutter, melted
1 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, combine yeast and 3/4 cup warm water. Let set for 5 minutes to activate the yeast. In a separate bowl, combine gluten-free flour blend, salt and baking powder. Whisk until well combined.

Make a well in the dry mixture and add the yeast mixture. Add the olive oil and an additional 1/2 cup warm water before stirring. Then stir until well combined, using a wooden spoon.

Lightly coat a baking sheet or pizza stone with olive oil and plop your dough down. Using your hands and a little brown rice flour if it gets too sticky, work from the middle and push to spread/flatten the dough out to the edge. You want it to be pretty thin, around 1/4 inch.

Put the dough in the oven to pre-bake for roughly 25 minutes or until it begins to lightly brown.

While dough is cooking, gather topping ingredients.

Using the flat side of a large knife, press the minced garlic and kosher salt together firmly to form a thick paste. Add the garlic paste to the melted butter, and mix to combine.

Remove dough from oven after 25 min or when it is lightly brown.

Using a pastry brush, brush the entire surface of the cooked dough with the entire garlic butter mixture, all the way to the edges of the dough. Sprinkle evenly with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, followed by the grated mozzarella cheese, all the way to the edge of the dough.

Bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted and browned in spots (about 10 minutes, but time will vary depending upon how crisp you’d like the crust). Allow to set briefly before slicing down the length in the center and then across into sticks. Serve with sauce for dipping!

Creating a Medicated Pizza

Preheat oven to 550ºF or as high as it will go. Using a pizza stone will give you the desired crust texture.

Prepare your toppings, grate your cheese and get everything ready. Once you start, you want to work quickly.

Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle panko breadcrumbs or corn grits on a pizza paddle (so dough won’t stick), and place your dough on the paddle. Quickly add your sauce, cheese and toppings of choice, and transfer your pizza to the hot stone in the oven. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and crust is browned. Slice and serve!

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