When a friend who was going through breast cancer treatment called and asked for help getting off sleeping meds, I was happy to help her give cannabis food a try. She was paying strict attention to diet as part of her healing process, following principles set forth by Rebecca Katz, a chef, nutritionist and founder of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal and author of The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery. Katz helps cancer patients nutritionally prepare for treatment and its side effects by taking advantage of healthy, whole foods that are bursting with flavor. That was so important for my friend, who also struggled to eat.
Katz describes this delicious, warming chai as “a back rub in a cup.” I made the tea and gave it to my friend with cannabis-infused almond milk mini ice cubes so she could control her own dose based on how many cubes she thawed.
Makes 8 cups
1/8 ounce cured cannabis flower or trim
1-1/2 cups almond milk
1/3 cup sliced, peeled fresh ginger, cut ¼-inch thick
10 cups water
3 tablespoons cardamom pods
4 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
1/8 – 3/4 tablespoon maple syrup (to taste)
1/8 tablespoon vanilla extract
fine mesh strainer
ice cube tray (mini cubes preferable)
plastic freezer bag
To make cannabis almond milk ice cubes, crumble cannabis with your fingers and combine with almond milk in a double boiler. Stir well and bring to barely a simmer. Simmer very gently over very low heat for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Do not let it boil.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Line strainer with cheesecloth and place over a bowl or large measuring cup. Pour milk through strainer as many times as is necessary to remove all plant matter from milk. Compost plant solids or save to use later.
Pour cannabis almond milk into labeled ice cube tray and freeze. When cubes are frozen, transfer to labeled plastic freezer bag.
To make the tea, combine ginger and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Add cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and continue to simmer 20 minutes.
Strain tea through fine-mesh sieve into storage container. Tea will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks without milk and sweetener.
To serve, thaw as many ice cubes as you need and combine with 1 cup tea and maple syrup in a double boiler. Add more non-infused cannabis milk and/or sweetener to taste. Gently reheat without boiling for 2-3 minutes until warm. Stir in a vanilla.