Chef Karin Lazarus, author of Sweet Mary Jane and mastermind behind Denver’s most beloved cannabis bakery, combines dark chocolate, matcha, and sweet adzuki for a mean, green, weed cupcake. Adzuki beans are a small red bean used in East Asian cuisine. When boiled with sugar or honey, they form a smooth red paste called anko that can be used in a variety of confec­tions, like these cannabis cupcakes. The devilishly rich chocolate cupcakes are topped with a matcha green tea frosting that gets its vibrant, verdant color from the finely milled powder. It tastes both rich and earthy, with a lingering sweetness.

Lazarus also shares her recipe for cannabis-infused coconut oil, which she calls Coconut Bliss, to any replace coconut oil in any given recipe. The oil can also be consumed on its own and many patients medicate by taking a spoonful every day (the size of the spoon determines the dosage). The amount of bud used determines the level of THC in finished desserts. Lazarus provides three levels of dosing.

Kooky Adzuki Cupcakes

  • Yields: 12 cupcakes


For the adzuki truffles

For the dark chocolate cupcakes

For the matcha green tea frosting


  1. Prepare the adzuki bean truffles. Combine the adzuki paste and pow­dered sugar in a small bowl and mix gently using your hands. Form the mix­ture into 12 balls about 1 inch in diameter. Set them on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate or freeze while you are making the cupcakes.

  2. Prepare the dark chocolate cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

  3. Set up a double boiler with 2 to 3 inches of water in the bottom pot and bring the water to a simmer. Melt the unsweetened chocolate in the top sec­tion, stirring frequently until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

  4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk and vanilla. Set aside.

  5. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the Coconut Bliss and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the melted chocolate. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add about one-third of the flour mixture, beating just to combine. Add half of the coconut milk mixture and beat until just incorporated. Repeat with half the remaining flour, alternating between the dry and liquid mixtures; finish with the dry.

  6. Fill each well of the muffin tin halfway with the batter (you’ll use about half the batter). Place an adzuki bean truffle in the center of each well, push­ing them down slightly. Divide the remaining batter evenly among the wells, making sure the adzuki truffles are completely covered.

  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the edge of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pan. Transfer to a wire rack.

  8. Prepare the matcha green tea frosting. In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until creamy.

  9. Sift the powdered sugar and matcha powder into the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth and creamy.

  10. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice and frost the cupcakes, or simply frost them with a butter knife or small offset spatula. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

  11. Store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Coconut Bliss

  • Yields: ½ cup (or 8 tablespoons)

Level 1 (Yield: About 150 mg THC total)

1 tablespoon = about 18.75 mg THC
For 12 edibles, use about 12.5 mg THC each.
For 18 edibles, use about 8.3 mg THC each.

Level 2 (Yield: About 300 mg THC total)

1 tablespoon = about 37.5 mg THC
For 12 edibles, use about 25 mg THC each.
For 18 edibles, use about 16.6 mg THC each.

Level 3 (Yield: About 600 mg THC total)

1 tablespoon = about 75 mg THC
For 12 edibles, use about 50 mg THC each.
For 18 edibles, use about 33.3 mg THC each.

Equipment needed for infusing


  1. Decarboxylate the cannabis. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Put the cannabis in a small, heat-proof baking dish and place in the oven. After 15 to 20 min­utes, check the temperature of the cannabis with your digital temperature gun; once it has reached 250°F, let it bake for 30 minutes, checking the temperature frequently. (In addition to decarboxylating, you are removing any moisture left in the plant material.) If it goes over the correct temperature for too long, it will burn, the THC may convert into CBN, and you will lose potency. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. If not using im­mediately, store the cannabis in an airtight container in a dark place for up to 2 months.

  2. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the decarbed weed and bring the temperature of the butter up to 190°F. Cook for 30 minutes, using the digital temperature gun to check the temperature of the butter frequently and make sure it does not go over 200°F. DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED! (If by chance it does go over 200°F for a few minutes, don’t worry, it isn’t ruined. The THC is still in there. But exces­sive heating causes degradation of THC and may convert it to CBN, one of the cannabinoids responsible for the sedative effects of cannabis, or result in vaporization of the compounds. Inadequate heating isn’t good either, as it causes the majority of the cannabinoids to remain in their acid form and thus unactivated. The density of the product, and the time and temperature of the oven, can also prevent some conversion, which results in unactivated cannabinoids. Adding the decarbed cannabis to the butter or coconut oil and heating it again assures a better conversion.) Mostly, you want to keep everything at a simmer, not a boil. Just turn down the heat and watch it.

  3. Take the saucepan off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.

  4. It’s time to press. Place a strainer over a large bowl. Place a paint strainer or cheesecloth into the strainer, folding down the sides. Spoon the infused coconut oil into it. Using a large spoon or potato masher, press as much as you can through the cloth. Then, using your hands (rubber gloves help here!), squeeze the bag. Press out as much of the precious liquid as you can. Measure the amount you have left. Normally, there is about a 25 percent loss; this is not a loss of THC. Make up the difference with regular coconut oil.

  5. Coconut Bliss can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 8 weeks. It also freezes well, so make more if you have the bud and freeze the extra batch in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Excerpted from Sweet Mary Jane: 75 Delicious Cannabis-Infused High-End Desserts by Karin Lazarus by permission of Penguin Random House.