Pot brownies are out; cannabis-infused trifles, doughnuts, and meringues are in. Recreational marijuana use is now legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia, and new cookbooks aim to help home bakers elevate their edibles, safely and satisfyingly.

In Sugar High (Simon Element, Feb. 2023), Chris Sayegh, a cannabis entrepreneur and private chef in Santa Monica, Calif., shares 50 recipes for baked treats, including s’mores bars, coconut gelato, and pear-frangipane tart. He views his book as a primer and a manual for safe, responsible consumption of the plant. He traces the history of marijuana—including its stigmatization, racialization, and criminalization in the U.S.—and provides guidelines for choosing products, strains, and doses. Sayegh also offers tips for customizing his recipes: many include gluten-free or sugar-free substitutions. “The book gives power to the reader,” he says, “so they can read everything and make sure that what they want, in terms of a high or a flavor, is what they’re getting.”

Ann Allchin emphasizes the medical benefits of cannabis and profiles 15 other users—among them a nurse, a chef, and an athlete—in Butter and Flower (Touchwood Editions, Nov.). The book’s 40 creations incorporate cannabis-infused butter, oils, and sugars, and span sweets (triple chocolate cookies), savories (caramelized onion and blue cheese gougères), international flavors (coconut ladoo), and gummies. Like Sayegh, Allchin wants to remove the taboos of toking. Legalization in Canada, her home country, “has encouraged many people to realize it’s not such a big deal,” she says. “People need to get past the stigma; it’s such a fun avenue to be able to give people relief and relaxation in hard times.”

What Sayegh and Allchin both love about baking, whether enhanced or not, is the opportunity for sharing. “When you bring treats to a party, or to someone who’s not feeling well, it’s an extra-special gift,” Allchin says. “It’s always given with love.”

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