Here is the final result from my first ever attempt at making marijuana-infused butter (aka “weed butter”). It was excellent and I recommend this method for its simplicity and effectiveness.
For this batch, I chose the “combine the water and the butter and the weed all together and simmer” method.
There are a couple of methods you can use to infuse butter with weed. I’ve used them all and they each have their pros and cons. You can use a double boiler, where the butter and weed are simmering in their own cooking pot, atop a simmering pot of water in a separate cooking pot. Or, you can combine them all into one pot, and separate the water from the infused butter at the end. (This second option is what I used in this first batch.)
Don’t burn the butter.
When infusing butter with marijuana, the purpose of using water as part of the process is to “protect the butter”. That’s why we’d use a double boiler. The boiling water is a buffer between the direct heat of the flame from the stovetop (or the heating element of an electric stove). The water receives the brunt of the heat and converts it to hot steam, which in turn, heats the cooking pot containing the butter and the weed. At the end of the cooking process, using this method, you simply strain the “spent weed” from the “newly infused” butter, leaving you with delicious, weed-infused butter.
Without the benefit of a double boiler, you can simply add water to your butter and weed mixture, and heat that directly on the stove top. In this method, the water is still acting as a buffer, of sorts, by helping the butter from burning with its mere presence in the mixture. (But, at the end of the process, you need to remove the “spent weed” from this “newly infused” butter / water blend, AND THEN, you need to remove the water, leaving only the infused butter.)
It may sound confusing, but not only will I tell you, “It’s actually very simple”, I will actually show you. In an upcoming post, I’ll share how to make weed butter using a double boiler (even though I don’t have an actual double boiler).
How to infuse butter with weed, the easy way.
When I say the “easy way”, I’m talking about the the easy way of DO IT YOURSELF without the benefit of these new Weed Cooking Gadgets that do it all for you. Oh no, not this time.
This time, I’m talking about the easiest way to make your own weed butter at home, without a double boiler and without any special gadgets or appliances that you wouldn’t normally have at home.
What you need to have to make your own infused weed butter.
A large enough cooking pot. (I use a medium / large sauce pan. It’s larger than the smaller cooking pot I’d use to cook a can of soup.)
Butter. (The amount you need depends on the amount of weed you’re infusing. The general rule of thumb is 1/2 ounce of weed for 4 sticks of butter.)
Water. (Roughly double the amount of butter. If 4 sticks of butter is one cup, then you’d use 2 cups of water.)
Cheesecloth. (You’ll need about 3 or 4 layers of roughly 18 – 24 inch square. Just be sure you have enough.)
Strainer. (You can use your pasta colander if you don’t have a mesh strainer. Either way, you’ll line the strainer or the pasta colander with the cheesecloth. Just be sure it’s large enough to hold all the “spent weed” and you can elevate it enough so the liquid passes through.)
Candy Thermometer. (Don’t be scared by this. They cost under $5 and you can get them at your local grocery store or on amazon very easily.)
Measuring cup. (D’uh)
At least one large bowl. (Large enough for all the liquid to drain from the strainer, into the bowl.)
A smaller bowl for the fridge — optional. (After you’ve strained all the liquid, you need to put the bowl into the fridge. I prefer to transfer it to a smaller, glass bowl, first. Then, it’s easier to keep in the fridge.)
A mason jar, or other storage container for the final weed butter.
These are the steps to make weed butter without a double boiler.
Start by heating the water. As the water is heating, drop in your sticks of butter. Once all the butter is melted, watch the water to allow it to simmer, but never get to a rolling boil.
Once your butter / water mixture is heating, go ahead and add in your decarbed weed.
Continually stir the weed / butter / water mixture as it comes to a simmer. (REMEMBER: DON’T LET IT BOIL. You’ll break down the lipids of the butter, and the weed will have nothing to absorb into. Basically, “you’ll waste your weed if you burn your butter.”)
This is the part where the candy thermometer comes in handy.
I like to simply attach it to the cooking pot and keep an eye on it. (Admittedly, I watched the temperature far too frequently.)
You’ll see the temperature of the weed / butter / water mixture will reach roughly 185 degrees fahrenheit when it’s simmering. That’s a good temperature to know the weed is infusing into the butter. (If it gets hotter than 195 or so, you’ll notice that the mixture is “boiling” more than it is “simmering”. So just keep the temperature at roughly 185 degrees.)
Simmer like this for a few hours. Of course you’ll need to stir every 20 minutes or so.
NOTE: About halfway through, I added more water, as some of it had boiled out and evaporated. Just be sure your weed butter has plenty of water to protect it.
After a few hours, you’ll see the consistency of the weed butter water mixture has changed. It all has a milky, green hue, but fully mixed together; unlike how it started all separated.
After you’ve simmered your weed and butter and water, let it cool a bit.
Simply remove from the heat for 20 – 60 minutes. All we’re trying to do here, is reduce the heat so we can handle it. (Yes, you’ll have to touch this stuff in a few minutes.)
Once the mixture is cool enough for your hands to handle it, you’ll need to strain the “spent flower” from the mixture. (I keep using the term “spent flower”, assuming you know what I mean. Here’s my definition: “After you’ve infused butter with your weed, all the THC has been removed from the plant material and is now infused into the butter. Therefore, the plant material is “spent”. All of its THC is gone and therefore, I call it “spent flower”. In other words — it’s now trash, basically.)
So, line your strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth. One layer is not enough. So much plant material will slip through, your resulting butter will be cloudy and possibly crunchy. (Not desirable.) So, don’t be a cheap ass. Use a few layers of cheese cloth.
Once you’ve lined your strainer with cheesecloth, you can now dump the cooked mixture into the strainer, allowing the weed butter and water to drain into the bowl beneath the strainer, leaving all the plant material (the “spent weed”) in the cheesecloth lined strainer.
Take your time here. There is a lot of liquid gold saturated in the plant material. Let it all drain out. (Squeeze a little if you’d like, but try to be sure the cheesecloth keeps the solids from spilling out into the weed butter and water mixture.)
Now, you’re left with spent weed that you can trash. (Or find alternative methods to use.)
And, you’re left with this gross looking butter and water blend. Don’t worry — separating the weed butter from the water is simple and natural.
Separate the Weed Butter from the Water by chilling overnight.
Just put the weed butter and water mixture into the refrigerator for a few hours. I recommend overnight.
What will happen in the fridge, is the water and butter will naturally separate.
The water will collect at the bottom of the bowl, and the butter will solidify and will become a hard surface.
Then, you simply scoop this one big solid block of weed-infused butter from the bowl, leaving all the dirty gross water to discard.
Now you have weed-infused butter!
Just break it up as needed to fit into your preferred storage container and keep refrigerated like you would regular butter. (Be sure to label it and keep away from children!)
How much weed is in my weed butter? (Dosing tips.)
This has been a bit of a confusing topic for many people for many reasons.
How much weed is in a tablespoon of weed butter? Well that depends on a couple of things like your starting material and the butter fat.
In general, you’ll need to come up with your “base total THC” from the flower, and multiply it by about 0.85. That’s the total THC in your butter for the entire batch.
So, let’s say I started with a half ounce (15 grams) of shake. I assume shake has a THC potency of roughly 15%.
15 grams is 1,500 milligrams. If I multiply that by .85, I’m left with a total 1,275 milligrams of THC in my entire batch of butter — and we’ll say, in this example, we have one full cup of infused butter. Therefore, we have one cup of butter that contains 1,275 mg of THC. If you want use a tablespoon of weed infused butter, and want to know how much THC is within it, you’d simply do the math to figure out how many tablespoons are in one cup. (The answer is one cup is equal to 16 tablespoons.). So, 1,275 mg of THC in a cup is equal to 16 tablespoons of roughly 80 mg each.
How to use weed infused butter
I will be honest. I wasn’t a fan of the taste at first. I tried it on popcorn. It was not delicious.
Then I found “simpler than scratch” cookies at Kroger.
These cookies kick all kinds of ass. They’re so easy. Just add 2 tablespoons of softened weed butter and one tablespoon of water to the dry mixture and you’ve got the easiest way to make super tasty weed cookies!
By the way, if you wanted to determine the dosage of each cookie, you’d use the same method as I described above to determine the amount of THC in a tablespoon, and simply double it (because you’re using 2 tablespoons in that cookie recipe). So for my example above, where each tablespoon resulted in roughly 80 mg of THC, then this cookie recipe would result in a batch of cookies that have 160 mg of THC in total. If you made 10 cookies in that batch, each cookie would be roughly 16 mg of THC.