Even in West Africa, alligator pepper is an expensive spice, so it is used sparingly. Often, a single whole pod is pounded in a pestle and mortar before half of it is added (along with black pepper) as a flavoring to West African soups or boiled rice.

    How To Use Ghana Alligator Pepper, Mbongo Spice or Hepper Pepper

In modern times, the alligator pepper, also called Hepper pepper in Ghana, continues to be used culinarily. The seeds are used whole or ground to add a black peppery flavor to soups, stews, meat dishes, rice, or even pastries since it can also substitute for cardamom. Alligator pepper and its seeds are easier to digest than black pepper, which makes it a healthier alternative. It can actually reduce digestive discomforts rather than cause them which black pepper may do in some people. The whole pepper can be snacked on as well.

A single whole pod is pounded in a pestle and mortar before half of it is added (along with black pepper) as a flavoring to West African soups or boiled rice.