Listen, you don’t have to be a master chef or cannabis connoisseur to make legit weed butter. You just need to be well-informed, patient, and organized. At the end of the day, making cannabis butter is just a very efficient way of consuming weed. It’s inconspicuous, versatile, and approachable. And I really enjoy how cannabutter helps to minimize the stigma of weed—especially in the black community. It means everything to me when middle-aged black women, like my 80-year-old great Auntie Mildred, can be provided with options like cannabis edibles to help find relief from pain symptoms.
With the same principles as making weed butter, you can create infused sesame chili oil to drizzle on rice dishes, or elevated coconut oil to use for your next face oil mask.
The following recipe loosely translates into 30 mg of THC per tablespoon of oil or butter. Your perfect dose will vary, but 10 mg is standard. Start by testing ¼ teaspoon of the weed butter you make and wait for about an hour. Take note of how you feel and let your body tell you whether this is a good amount, if you need more, or if you need less. Erring on the side of caution will ensure that you actually enjoy yourself and have a positive experience.
Step 1: Decarboxylation
The first thing you’ll have to do is decarboxylate your cannabis. Also known as “decarbing,” this requires you to bake your weed, allowing the THC, CBD and other cannabinoids to activate. Also, it allows for lipids in butter and oil to easily bind to your weed for the ultimate cannabis infusion.What you’ll need:
- ½ ounce of weed
- Hand grinder or scissors
- Glass baking dish or sheet pan
What to do:
- Preheat the oven to 220° F.
- Gently break apart the desired amount of weed using a hand-grinder, scissors, or with hands until it’s the perfect consistency for rolling a joint— fine, but not too fine. Anything too fine will slip through cheesecloth (or a joint, for that matter). You want your cannabutter and oil to be clean and as clear as possible.
- Evenly spread your plant material onto the glass baking dish or sheet pan. Pop in the oven on the center rack for 20 minutes if using old or lower quality weed; 45 minutes for cured, high-grade weed; or 1 hour or more for anything that has been recently harvested and is still wet.
- Check on the weed frequently while it’s in the oven, gently mixing it every 10 minutes so as to not burn it. You will notice that the color of your herb will change from bright green to a deep brownish green. That’s when you know it has decarboxylated.
Step 2: Cannabutter Stovetop Infusion
If you have weed, fat, time, and a kitchen, you can make weed butter with this method.What You’ll Need:
- 1½ cup water
- 8 ounces clarified butter, melted butter, or oil
- ½ ounce decarboxylated cannabis
- Medium saucepan
- Wooden spoon
- Thermometer, optional cheesecloth and/or metal strainer
What to do:
- In a medium saucepan on very low heat, add water and butter.
- When the butter is melted, add the decarboxylated cannabis. Mix well with a wooden spoon and cover with lid.
- Let mixture gently simmer for 4 hours. Stir every half hour to make sure your butter isn’t burning. If you have a thermometer, check to make sure the temperature doesn’t reach above 180°.
- After 4 hours, strain with cheesecloth or metal strainer into a container. Let the butter cool to room temperature. Use immediately or keep in refrigerator or freezer in a well-sealed mason jar for up to six months.
How to use weed butter:
I’ve been slipping a little weed into a lot of recipes that aren’t in my cookbook. Most recently, I combined one tablespoon of canna-infused olive oil with 3 tablespoons of non-weed virgin olive oil to dress this juicy Charred Raw Corn salad. (It came out to 30 mg for the entire dish, and 7.5 mg per serving). It blew my mind. And not because I was stoned. I also have this thing for eating hot soup all year long, and my most recent soup fix was Chicken and Rice Soup with Garlicky Chile Oil. I spiked the garlic chile oil with weed, swapping in two tablespoons of canna-infused sesame oil for two tablespoons of vegetable oil. You can also sub a few teaspoons of infused oil into baked goods, like breakfast blondies or chocolate tahini brownies.
If you live in a legal state, you can find out the exact percentage of the THC and CBD in the weed you’re buying to help gauge the potency, but according to Leafly, an average potency is hard to pinpoint.
It takes a little bit of math to figure out the exact dosing/serving size you should start with, but it’s important to do it, no matter what type of edible you’re making. Here’s an example:
- 1 gram of weed that is 15 percent THCA will have 150 milligrams of THCA.
- I recommend a starting dose of 2.5 to 5 milligrams THC.
- 1 gram of weed in 2 dozen cookies breaks down like this: 150 milligrams THC in the total batch divided by 24 cookies = 6.25 milligrams of THC per cookie.
- Start with 1/2 of a cookie, wait 1 to 2 hours to feel the effects, then decide if you want to try a bit more (I’d recommend adding no more than 1/4 of the cookie at a time).
Keep in mind that 100 percent conversion to THC is impossible, since there is always loss during the decarboxylation, infusion, and cooking processes. Just remember to plan ahead with non-infused snacks to munch on once you’ve enjoyed your edible, and don’t forget to set a timer to know how long it’s been since you took it.