As cannabis cultivators, we consider ourselves plant experts. So, when taking to the kitchen to experiment with some mouthwatering cannabis edibles, it was completely new territory! Under the guidance of our friend Lila, the highly experienced cooking instructor behind Heaven on Earth Cooking Studio, we learned the ins and outs of creating cannabis infusions. It all began with butter.
Photo by Jenn Bakos
Making cannabutter involves two main steps, decarboxylation, and infusion.
Step one: Decarboxylation
“Decarbing” cannabis for edible use is an essential step, as it is what converts the prevalent THCA compounds into THC. This activation requires little more than a bit of slow, steady heat. There are a few ways this can be achieved.
To decarboxylate our cannabis flower, we followed the standard oven method from @laurieandmaryjane, which is outlined in the book, Marijuana Edibles : 40 Easy and Delicious Cannabis-Infused Desserts.
To ensure the oven was evenly and accurately to temp, we preheated it at 240F for a full hour. Then, it was as simple as baking the pea-sized crushed flower (crumbled gently by hand) for 45 minutes. Next, the decarbed flower was ground with a mortar and pestle. While the process was indeed quite easy, be prepared for strong aroma! This is one reason some people prefer the stovetop “sous vide” method, which heats by water bath.
Step two: Infusion
When our cannabis was decarbed, ground, and ready for infusion, we used the Lēvo machine; such a handy little gadget. Following the basic instructions, we added 16 ounces of melted unsalted butter and 7 g decarbed cannabis into the machine, cooking it at 175 F for 2.5 hours. It came out of the appliance looking quite close to conventional butter, and pleasing in color. The texture was a bit different, as to be expected.
The liquified butter was then transferred to a liquid measuring cup and stirred well before moving to a silicone butter mold. It cooled, hardened, and went into the fridge. Cannabis and butter in, Cannabutter out!
Note that you don’t need a Lēvo- your stove top or a crock pot will also work, but will require an attentive cook to monitor the temperature. (Lila suggests having a candy thermometer on hand if you go this route.)
First batch reflections
We found the butter was easiest to work with when warm, or at room temperature. (When cold, it crumbled easily). For storage, nothing beats the flexibility of silicone. To note: the ideal silicone butter mold would be one that equates to a pound of butter, separated into four traditional sticks for easy converting. Funny enough, it was really difficult to find a mold that met these specs! Only after this cooking session did we discover that magicalbutter.com offers the four stick setup, complete with ridges to mark each tablespoon, and a “21 and up” impression on each!
In essence, the versatility of cannabutter is extraordinary, bringing new life to everything from dip, to cookies, to grilled cheese. Oh, and was our butter effective? Designated taste-testers gave the thumbs up. :)
Here’s a round-up of our favorite infusions after a full day playing in the kitchen. They’re sure to inspire your own batch of cannabutter- be it your first, or your fiftieth!
What are you baking? Find us on Instagram @curalfeaf.usa to share your creations, and enjoy more canna-kitchen inspirations.