Use all of your homegrown herbs like basil, parsley, and cannabis in this easy-to-make, savory cannabis pesto. This recipe includes multiple infusion options for you to try, including leaves, oil, and more.
- An easy cannabis recipe with step-by-step instructions
- Options for using fan leaves or infused oil
- Tasty recipe ideas to use your pesto in
Why You Will Love This Recipe
If you've ever grown a cannabis plant, you may know the intense feeling of wanting to use all parts of the plant.
Members of my Well With Cannabis Community know that all parts of the plant are special, and this recipe is a great way to preserve their favorite different homegrown herbs.
Once made, this recipe can be enjoyed as a dip on meat, served over vegetables, swirled into pasta, used as a spread on sandwiches, and more.
In this guide, you will find the recipe, step-by-step instructions, and multiple different infusion options so that you can use up all parts of your beloved cannabis plant.
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- Toasted walnuts: find instructions for toasting walnuts below
- Garlic: fresh or pre-minced garlic will work
- Parmesan cheese: freshly grated parmesan cheese is best
- Fresh basil: freshly harvested and stems removed
- Fresh parsley: freshly harvested and stems removed
- Fresh fan leaves: fan leaves are optional; see notes below
- White wine: optional, but helps add a delicious flavor
- Lemon juice: fresh squeezed is best, but bottled is OK
- Crushed red pepper: for heat and flavor
- Extra-virgin olive oil: depending on your infusion preference, you can use traditional olive oil or cannabis-infused olive oil
Note: a complete list of ingredients with amounts and printable instructions is in the recipe card below.
- Step 1 - If you haven't already, toast the walnuts.
- Step 2 - Add the toasted walnuts, minced garlic, and cheese to a food processor and pulse in 5-second intervals until all ingredients reach a fine consistency.
- Step 3 - Add the basil through crushed red pepper to the food processor. Turn the processor on medium speed and blend all ingredients for 60 seconds.
- Step 4 - Turn the food processor down to medium-low speed, and with the processor running, very slowly pour in the cannabis olive oil.
- Step 5 - Continue to blend for an additional 60 seconds or until all ingredients are broken down and well incorporated.
Note: complete step-by-step printable instructions are located in the recipe card below.
Store the fresh pesto in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in the refrigerator or freezer. Be sure to check out this guide for more help with storing cannabis edibles.
Raw Cannabis Leaves
The most common cannabis leaves used in pesto are fan leaves, and these should be washed well, with any long stems trimmed off, before adding to the pesto.
Remember that cannabis fan leaves do not contain very high amounts of trichomes with active cannabinoids and are typically not intoxicating.
If you're looking for a cannabis pesto that will cause a 'high' feeling, use one of the options below.
Use Infused Oil
One of the easiest ways to make a cannabis pesto is using cannabis-infused oil.
Once you have a cannabis-infused oil prepared, you can use it anywhere, in any recipe, including this one.
While you can make many different cannabis-infused oils, EVOO works and tastes best in this recipe.
Leftover Cannabis Pulp
The leftover cannabis pulp will not be nearly as potent as your first infusion, so you can use your discretion regarding how much you want to use here.
It will depend on how much you have, how strong the flower you started with was, and your flower-to-oil ratio guide.
A good starting place is to use ¼-1/2 cup of leftover pulp and add it during step 1.
Decarbed Flower or Kief
Using just a decarbed flower, kief, or already vaped bud is a super easy way to infuse this recipe.
Simply decarb the flower, grind it into a fine powder, and add it to your recipe as a separate ingredient.
This means that kief can be much more potent than flower or trim.
Because of this, you may be able to use less of it in this recipe, or more, depending on the effect you’re looking for.
If you’ve never worked with kief before, you can get my guide to decarbing and making edibles with kief here.
For this recipe, I recommend adding 1 teaspoon of decarbed cannabis kief in step 2, adjusting your tolerance level.
If you are a medical patient or live in a recreationally legal state, you may have access to cannabis concentrates.
This recipe can easily use cannabis concentrates to make an easy pesto.
All can work in this recipe, from distillate or CO2 oil to shatter or wax and FECO or RSO.
Depending on your concentrate, you will want to ensure that your cannabis concentrate is decarbed first if needed.
If you are unsure if your cannabis concentrate needs to be decarbed first, you can check this guide here.
Once you know whether or not you need to decarb your concentrate, you can gently warm it up and mix it into the 1 cup of olive oil called for in this recipe.
How much you will add is up to you and your tolerance and preferences; 1ml or 1 gram is typically a strong place to start.
Notes and Expert Tips
- If you're using fresh fan leaves, be sure to wash them well before adding them to the food processor
- Don't skip the olive oil in this recipe! Cannabis is best paired with fat and can be better absorbed on a full stomach or when eaten with a meal. Just be careful as excess fat in edibles may cause digestive distress
- If you're unsure of how to dose this recipe, be sure to check out my dosing guide and use the edible dosage calculator if you need it
- Looking for more healthy and delicious cannabis recipes? Check out this guide for making healthy cannabis recipes, these delicious sugar-free edibles, or my guide for cannabis and weight loss. Struggling with the munchies? I've got help for that, too!
- Be careful using any amount of THC as this can stay in your system and cause you to fail a drug test. If you consume too much and feel unwell, use these tips and tricks to calm down from being too high.
Frequently Asked Questions
Making cannabis pesto can be brand new to even the most seasoned cannabis consumer, so here are some of the most common FAQs I get from my Well With Cannabis Community.
The best part about this recipe is that if you make it in large quantities, you can individually portion the pesto and then freeze it, so you have easy-to-use packages all year. To freeze, I simply pour the prepared pesto into 8-ounce plastic cups and freeze. When the pesto is frozen solid, I pop it out of the plastic cup and use a vacuum sealer to seal it up. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, place it into a freezer bag and squeeze out the air. Simply dethaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature when you're ready to use. Don't use the microwave, as you could potentially destroy any active cannabinoids.
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More Cannabis Recipes You Will Love
There are so many different ways to enjoy cannabis pesto. Simply enjoyed as a dip, on meat, served over vegetables, swirled into pasta, or used as a spread on sandwiches, the options are endless.
My Edibles Made Easy Online Cooking Course will teach you how to easily make cannabis edibles and topical recipes at home. This step-by-step video course will teach you how to infuse, extract, and create edibles with many different product types - all from the comfort of your own home.
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Easy Cannabis Pesto
- ½ cup toasted walnuts chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves lightly packed
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves lightly packed
- ¼ cup white wine optional
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper optional
- 1 cup cannabis-infused olive oil
To Toast Walnuts
- Start the oven broiler on high. Evenly spread out the chopped walnuts on a foil-lined baking sheet.Place the baking sheet under the broiler and watch closely, stirring every 2 minutes until perfectly golden brown.Remove the walnuts from the oven and let cool to the touch.
For The Pesto
- Add the toasted walnuts, minced garlic, and Parmesan cheese to a food processor and begin to pulse in 5-second intervals until all ingredients reach a fine consistency.
- Add the basil through crushed red pepper to the food processor. Turn the processor on medium speed and blend all ingredients together for 60 seconds.
- Turn the food processor down to medium-low speed, and with the processor running, very slowly pour in the cannabis olive oil.
- Continue to blend for an additional 60 seconds or until all of the ingredients are broken down and well incorporated.
- Store the fresh pesto in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Raw Cannabis Leaves: Replace 1 cup of loosely packed basil with 1 cup of loosely packed cannabis leaves.
- Leftover Cannabis Pulp: Add ¼-1/2 cup of cannabis pulp as an extra ingredient in step 1.
- Decarbed Cannabis Kief: Add 1 teaspoon of decarbed cannabis kief in step 2.
- Cannabis Concentrates: Add according to your tolerance level. Mix into the cannabis olive oil before adding it to this recipe.