how to make cannabis butter

Cookin’ in the Kitchen with USMJ: Cannabis Butter 101

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If you’re curious about cooking with cannabis, one of the must-have staples you’ll need is cannabis butter, aka cannabutter.

(Because it ain’t like you can just roll down to your local supermarket to pick some up—yet!)

Here at USMJ, we’re always on the lookout for new cannabis-based recipes and food trends, so learning how to make cannabis butter is pretty much Cannabis Cooking 101. We scoured through scores of recipes and techniques online, and distilled all that info into a handy guide for everything you need to make your own cannabis butter, from the ingredients, to the equipment, to helpful tips to get it just right. Let’s get cooking…with cannabis!

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT

  • Measuring cup (at least 2 cups)
  • Medium to large saucepan
  • Food or candy thermometer
  • Wooden spoon or rubber spatula
  • Sheets of cheese cloth
  • Glass baking dish or sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  • Marijuana grinder or scissors
  • Oven & stove top
  • Mixing bowl
  • Sieve

REQUIRED INGREDIENTS

  • At least 7 grams (roughly 1/4 oz) of ground decarbed cannabis
  • 1 lb. of your favorite unsalted butter
  • 2-4 cups of water

TOTAL TIME

About 3-4 hours for prep and cooking; at least 2 hours for the cannabutter to set up in the refrigerator.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

  1. First thing you need to do is “decarb” your cannabis, which is essentially slow roasting it on a low temperature in order to remove the non-intoxicating acidic cannabinoid (THCA) in the plant. Failure to complete this step will result in a weak final product! Place your cannabis buds in a glass baking dish or sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and place in your oven at around 225 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes; stir with a spatula every 10 minutes for nice, even results.
  2. Remove your decarbed cannabis, let cool for a few minutes, then coarsely grind it, cut it with scissors, or break it up by hand. You don’t want it too powdery or fine; it should look like dried oregano (or the proper consistency for rolling a joint).
  3. Next, put the water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  4. Then add the butter, and allow it to melt completely.
  5. Add your ground-up marijuana, and reduce the heat to barely a simmer. You don’t want to scorch or burn the butter. You can use your food or candy thermometer here to keep it around 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Let the mixture cook for at least three (3) hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so. If you need to, you can add more water; you’ll want to keep the marijuana at least 2 inches from the bottom of the pan. Your cannabis butter mixture will be finished once its gone from a watery mix to glossy and thick.
  7. While the mixture is cooking, set up your sieve, line it with cheesecloth, and affix it over a heat-proof glass bowl or heavy-duty plastic storage container. (Rubber bands will help hold it in place.)
  8. Pour your cannabis butter mixture through the cheesecloth and sieve into your bowl or container; use your spatula to scrape the entire saucepan. Once the mixture has drained, undo the cheesecloth, and squeeze out all the remaining butter.
  9. Allow the cannabutter mixture to cool for at least an hour. Place it in your refrigerator, and wait until the top layer has risen and firmed up to solid (at least 1-2 hours).
  10. Use a knife to cut around the edges of the solid butter; lift it out of the bowl and dab dry any wet spots with a paper towel. Store in an air-tight container. Now you’re ready to use your cannabutter for whatever recipes come next. To test its potency, spread 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon on a snack and see how it affects you in about an hour. Enjoy!

ADDITIONAL TIPS

The recipes we reviewed online had some variations, so check out some of these links for ways to tweak your process; these were a few of our favorites. You can also get tips on how to make cannabis-infused cooking oil, or use a slow cooker/crock pot to create both products.

Here’s one co-written by Cedella Marley, daughter or reggae icon Bob Marley

leafly.com is a great resource for all things cannabis-related

We relied heavily on this recipe and how-to, which contains amazing photo reference to go with the instructions

Gourmet site bonappetit.com gets into the cannabiz with this excerpted recipe from weed guru Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey

epicurious.com excerpts this recipe from Laurie Wolf, the so-called “Martha Stewart of Cannabis”

And speaking of Martha Stewart, here she is making brownies with Snoop Dogg—the perfect recipe to try out your new cannabutter concoction!

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