When I first listened to White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane, I had probably rightly believed that Grace Slick was referring to Alice In Wonderland with the lyric “Go ask Alice, I think she’ll knooowww!”. But in hindsight, she may also be referring to Alice B. Toklas and her Alice B. Toklas Cookbook which was published in 1954 and contained a recipe for “hashish fudge”. The notion also formed a part of legendary artist Bryon Gysin’s method in metaphysique and creativity, who lived in Morocco where mahjoun is quite the treat.
A friend enticed me into the taste sensation of mahjoun with recounts of the Le Club des Hachichins (“Club of the Hashish-Eaters”), which was frequented by Pierrie Théophile Gautier, Charles Baudelaire, Gérard de Nerval, Eugène Delacroix and Alexandre Dumas in the mid-19th century. The French psychiatrist Jacques-Joseph Moreau was also a member, who was the first person in modern history to publish a work on the effects of cannabis in relation to the human nervous system. Guatier wrote of Moreau handing him a “morsel of paste of greenish jam about as large as a thumb from a crystal vase”, as he cautions that “this will be deducted from your share in Paradise”.
Moreau wrote of the psychosomatic effects of the substance in ameliorating mental illness; myself I found it beneficial in dealing with a difficult gastroenterological condition which also turned out to have a psychosomatic origin. This is how mahjoun came to be of great interest to me.
There are two recipes I would like to share.
The following can be found on Chowhound and provides a sweet paste than works extremely well when spread on walnut crackers:
- 1/4 ounce marijuana tops (negotiable)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground anise
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Remove stems and seeds from marijuana tops, then dry and crumble the leaves. In a dry skillet, toast the leaves over very low heat until the aromas are released.
- Mix the leaves with raisins, walnuts, nutmeg, anise, ginger, honey, and water, adding more water if the mixture is too dry and crumbly.
- Simmer together until the mixture is soft and thick. Mash by hand or transfer to a food processor and blend, using several short pulses.
- Stir in butter, spoon into a jar, and refrigerate for storage. Spread on crackers or plain cookies, or use as a filling for stuffed cookies.
The other can be found on Munchies, which has extensive marijuana recipes given the recent legalisations and decriminalisations across North America.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1-3 grams hash (Potency: 1 gram for 20-milligram strength balls, 2 grams for 40-milligram strength balls, 3 grams for 60-milligram strength balls, based on an average of 50-percent THC per gram of hash.)
- 3 oz. cashews (raw or lightly toasted, salted or unsalted)
- 3 oz. pistachios, shelled (raw or lightly toasted, salted or unsalted)
- 4 oz. almonds (raw or lightly toasted, salted or unsalted)
- 3 oz. Black Mission figs
- 4 oz. Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 2 oz. rose water
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
for the spice mixture (use 1 oz. per batch):
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon powdered cardamom
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers (optional)
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place butter and powdered hash in a shallow Pyrex dish and heat on center rack for approximately 30 minutes to fully activate THC.
- While hash is heating, in a food processor, addthe nuts and gently grind into small pieces. Reserve 1⁄4 cup for coating jam balls and set aside.
- Using kitchen shears or a paring knife, remove any stems from figs. Check dates carefully, removing any pits or hulls. Finely dice and set aside.
- Measure honey, rose water, and spices. Combine spices and set aside.
- Remove butter and hash mixture from oven and place in a medium saucepan on the stove over low heat. Add flour and whisk to blend well. Continue cooking on a low simmer until foaming (4 to 5 minutes), stirring constantly just until roux is lightly browned, being cautious not to burn butter. Remove from heat and add salt. Stir to blend. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine nuts and dried fruit, roux, honey, rose water, and 1 oz. of spice mixture. With clean hands, knead ingredients until well-incorporated, smooth, and thick, with a slight sheen. If necessary, refrigerate for 25 or 30 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
- Using a small ice cream scoop or measuring spoon, spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time and gently roll into balls. Coat/roll balls in reserved finely ground nuts.
The second recipe, I often use dukkah mix for the coating which you can buy separately in an abundance of flavours.
The morning after I’d made my first ever batch, I told myself that it would be fine to have a teaspoon or two of the first recipe on some walnut crackers. After that I watched the last of season 3 of House of Cards, it was pretty clear that it was taking good effect. Reminding myself that I had a gym session with my personal trainer, I got changed and walked into town. And along the way I made sure I got a strong cup of coffee…..