Personally, the whole point of my cannabis advocacy is to ensure that everyday people, like my Aunties, are allowed safe and inexpensive access to weed. One of the easiest ways to do that—especially for seniors—is through canna butter or other infused edibles.
Yes, edibles can fuck you up, but they’re also a discreet and sometimes stigma-free way to consume cannabis.
But let’s take a step back for a moment to talk about the power of food, whether weed-infused or not. Food is intrinsically apolitical. It’s by and large inclusive, usually approachable, and has the ability to gather people in a way very few things can. Food is one of the strongest forces that intertwine us with our heritage.
It’s also a topic that Lauren Yoshiko, my co-host on the new podcast Broccoli Talk, and I dug into in episode #3 of the show. We discussed the impact of food, edibles, and how they can play an integral role in the lives of medical and recreational users alike.
On my own food journey, I was galvanized after reading The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South, written by the queer food historian and chef Michael W. Twitty. In the book, Twitty reinforces the notion that “many of our most pungent memories are carried through food, just as connections to our ancestors are reaffirmed by cooking the dishes handed down to us.”
Raised in a West African immigrant household, although we weren’t physically in Liberia or Ghana, food was one of the very few tangible substances that continued to connect me to my culture. It was inevitable that I would combine two of my favorite things, weed and food. It was similarly inevitable that I would go on to write about food and author my very own cookbook, The Art of Weed Butter.
I believe that infusing weed butter or oil into a favorite family dish is a celebration of culture, memory, and senses in one. That’s why I’m sharing my recipe with you.
Ready to make weed butter? Check out the full instructions below.
How to make weed butter
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. It also allows for lipids in butter and oil to easily bind to your weed for the ultimate cannabis infusion.
What you’ll need:
1/4 -1/2 ounce of cannabis flower
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 grinder, scissors, or hands until it’s the perfect consistency for rolling a joint. Anything too fine will slip through cheesecloth (or a joint, for that matter). You want the weed butter or oil that you’re making to be clean and as clear as possible.
Evenly spread your plant material onto the parchment paper of your 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; and up to one hour or more for anything that has been recently harvested and still has maintained a lot of moisture.
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. Now you’re ready to infuse it into butter.
Easy stovetop weed butter
What you’ll need:
1½ cup water
8 ounces butter, or oil of choice
½ ounce decarboxylated cannabis
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 g-e-n-t-l-y simmer for four 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 four hours, strain with cheesecloth or metal strainer into a glass container. Let the butter cool to room temperature. Use immediately or keep in the refrigerator or freezer in a well-sealed mason jar for up to six months. Add to your favorite foods. Enjoy!
Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey is the co-host of Broccoli Mag’s new podcast, Broccoli Talk. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.