Marijuana is expensive, there’s no getting around it (unless you are one of the fortunate few who can grow your own). You want to be sure that you are getting the maximum amount of pain relief out of your weed. You might be tempted to just toss a handful of chopped marijuana into a box of Betty Crocker brownie mix and hope for the best – but try this. It’s not hard, and it will elevate your edibles to a whole new level.
With marijuana-infused butter, you don’t need a special “weed” recipe – any recipe that requires butter is fair game. Just substitute your marijuana-infused butter for the plain butter that is usually used. Brownies, muffins, cupcakes, truffles, etc. – the uses for marijuana-infused butter are limited only by your imagination. Put some on a baked potato, or on your toast!
In order to make butter infused with medical marijuana, first decarboxylate your marijuana. Seriously, don’t skip this step.
I plan on making cookies with this batch of infused butter. My cookie recipe requires one stick of unsalted butter. (Your chosen recipe may need more or less.) I will be putting 10 grams of marijuana into the batch of cookies.
Remember, when baking with marijuana, never bake over 345 degrees. An oven that is too hot (350 degrees or hotter) will destroy the effectiveness of your weed.
In order to make infused butter, you will need:
a crock pot,
the marijuana, chopped, weighed and decarboxylated,
one stick of unsalted butter,
about 1/2 cup of filtered water,
a wooden or rubber spatula,
a piece of cheesecloth around 12 inches square
a rubber band
When you put the weed in the oven to decarboxylate, turn on the crockpot on “low” to give it a chance to warm up. Place the stick of unsalted butter in the crockpot along with 1/2 cup of filtered water, cover and let it sit while the weed is decarboxylating.
When the marijuana has finished roasting in the oven and has cooled down a bit, move the baking sheet away from the stove. Working over the counter and not over the stove (just in case any of it spills), very carefully lift the non-stick foil or parchment paper and tip it into the crockpot. Try and get every tiny little morsel of medical marijuana into the melted butter. Give it a careful stir with a wooden or rubber spatula. The butter and water should completely saturate the weed.
Set the crockpot on “low” for six hours, cover and walk away.
Every hour or so, walk by the crockpot and take a look. Give it a gentle stir, from the center of the pot (try and stay away from the sides, so no little fragments wind up sticking to the sides and overcooking).
Marijuana must not boil; if you see that the butter is beginning to bubble around the edges, you can add another tablespoon or so of water. Don’t worry about adding too much water; the butter will separate from the water later on in the refrigerator, so it’s not an issue.
My favorite thing to do when I see that it’s beginning to bubble is to turn the crockpot to “warm” setting for about five minutes, until it cools off a little bit. Then I turn it back to “low”. If you do this, do NOT forget to turn it back on. Seriously, set your cell phone alarm if you need to. I do.
After six hours has passed, turn off the crockpot and let it cool for a few minutes.
Take out a glass container with a lid – a round Pyrex bowl works well – and cover it with the cheesecloth, using a rubber band to hold the cheesecloth in place. I like to put a small strainer over the bowl and cover the strainer with the cheesecloth, and then add the rubber band to hold everything in place – the strainer makes it easier to keep the cheesecloth off the surface of the butter as it strains through.
Using a small ladle or large spoon, take a spoonful of the infused butter and ladle it onto the center of the cheesecloth-covered bowl. The butter will drip through, leaving the marijuana on top. Slowly, slowly spoon the rest of the marijuana-infused butter through the cheesecloth, using the spoon or a spatula to gently move the marijuana around so more butter can drip through.
When you are finished, and have used a spatula to remove every last possible drop of infused butter from the crockpot, take a small spoon and carefully press the cheesecloth, gathering up the edges as you do this, to get every last drop of infused butter. Discard the cheesecloth.
Cover the marijuana-infused butter and place it in the refrigerator for several hours, preferably overnight. The butter will rise, making a solid hard disc just like regular butter, while the water remains sloshing around in the bottom of the bowl.
To remove the chilled butter from the glass bowl, take a very sharp knife (a tomato-slicing knife is perfect, if you have one) and run it around the inner edge of the bowl. Then poke the knife tip against one edge, and it should easily lift up. Use your fingers if you have to; the butter will be solid and cold.
Pat dry with paper towels, laying the butter down on the paper towels first on one side, then the other. Place the butter in a new, clean container and return it to the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. The water can be discarded.
You may be surprised at how little butter you have. The six-hour infusion process results in the loss of moisture in the butter, which does make it weigh less than the amount with which you started out. It will need to be weighed before you can use it in a recipe. It’s been my experience that it can lose half of its weight, but you can easily make this up by adding more unsalted butter to it.
Can you use a pot on top of the stove to make infused butter, rather than a crockpot? Yes, I’ve done it both ways. It’s been my experience that a pot, even placed on a simmer burner’s lowest setting, will eventually get hotter than the 160 degrees recommended, and is harder to control than the crockpot. Also, on the stovetop, it tends to burn a bit around the edges. If you do decide to use a pot, make sure that you are there in the kitchen most of the time to keep an eye on it.
Next up: let’s make some chocolate-chocolate-chip marijuana-infused cookies!