The other day, I decided to make my go-to salted brown sugar cookies. But this time, I wanted to make them extra special. What better way to celebrate the upcoming legalization of recreational cannabis in Illinois than with some delicious homemade edibles? Read on to learn everything you need to know about baking with cannabis. Plus, learn how to make cannabutter!

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I’ve been a baker for as long as I can remember – and I love cannabis, but the idea of combining the two sounded more like chemistry than enjoyment. I guess I was just a little intimidated by the process of baking with cannabis – but it turns out, it’s actually not that hard!

I did a lot of research before I got started, and my cookies turned out excellent. So now, I’m gonna share everything I learned about baking with cannabis with you – in one place so you don’t have to hunt all over the internet looking for the information.

How to Make Cannabutter – Infusing Cannabis In Butter

Like all good things in the kitchen, baking with cannabis starts with butter. Because THC (and a lot of the other good stuff in cannabis) is fat-soluble, it binds to the fats in butter during the infusion process. But making cannabutter isn’t as easy as you might think (unless you have this handy gadget – which I didn’t, but am now going to invest in). 

What Do You Need To Make Cannabutter?

Making cannabutter doesn’t require much. All you need is butter, water, and some cannabis plant material. It doesn’t have to be top shelf bud either, you can make cannabutter from cannabis stems, plant leaves, and cannabis that wasn’t as strong as you hoped it would be. In addition to your ingredients, you will also need a Magicbutter appliance or a thermometer, pan, and spoon, or a thermometer and crockpot.

Why Do You Use Water To Make Cannabutter?

Because all the good stuff in cannabis is fat soluble, it will attach to the butter. All the yucky stuff, though, will instead end up in the water. Using water makes it a lot easier to control the temperature of the butter while it’s on the stove and manages to keep some of the yucky stuff out of our bodies.

Decarboxylating Cannabis to Make Cannabutter

Before you get started infusing cannabis in butter to make cannabutter, you need to prepare the cannabis by turning the THCA into bioavailable THC. This is done by decarboxylating the cannabis in the oven at 220 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes. I decarboxylated my cannabis for 30 minutes, stirring every 10.

Grinding Cannabis to Make Cannabutter

One of the most common mistakes people make when making cannabutter is grinding their cannabis too fine. This allows for more of the plant material to enter your final cannabutter product, leading to a greenish hue and unpalatable flavor. I didn’t even use a grinder when I was making cannabutter; I just crushed the larger buds between my fingers after decarboxylating. A rough grind – and plus, it’s your first excuse to have a taste test now that the cannabis is activated.

NOTE: Do NOT get your cannabis / butter mixture too hot. You want to keep the temperature under 200 degrees Fahrenheit but above 160 degrees for optimal extraction.

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How to Make Cannabutter on the Stove

My crockpot was too hot, and I didn’t have the MagicButter – so I settled on the most old-school method available for infusing cannabis in butter – a pot on the stove. Now mind you, this required a lot of babysitting, but my cannabutter came out golden, delicious, and barely noticeable in the final product. 

  1. Melt butter in pan on stove.
  2. Add water and cannabis.
  3. Stir every 15 minutes and monitor with a thermometer. Make sure the mixture stays between 160 degrees and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Some stoves will not be able to maintain this low of a temperature. If that happens to you, just add water to cool the mixture back below the 200 degree threshold.
  4. Let cook for 2+ hours.
  5. Pour into a container to cool in the refrigerator until it hardens.
  6. Scoop your fresh cannabutter out of the water. Use immediately or store in a foodsafe container (I love glass) and keep refrigerated.

How to Cook With Cannabis / Cooking With Cannabutter

Now that you’ve made your cannabutter, it’s time to put it to use in your favorite recipes. Cannabutter can be used in any recipe where you would use normal butter, but you don’t want to degrade the potency by heating it too much. If you are sauteing, use normal butter and add your cannabutter at the very last moment for best results. 

How to Bake With Cannabis / Baking With Cannabutter

The best part of making cannabutter is being able to create your own edible treats. Just replace butter in your recipe with equal parts cannabutter. Many baking recipes require hotter temperatures, but try lowering the baking temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and increasing cook time as this will help maintain the potency of your edibles.

How to Dose Homemade Edibles

Dosing homemade edibles is really difficult. There are calculators out there to help, but there are so many variables that no calculator can account for them. I suggest using the calculator as a starting place and then using that to inform your initial intake. You can always eat more so it’s better to err on the side of caution.