Originally Published September 9th, 2015.
Before the days of legalization, many methods or techniques for making cannabutter had no real basis in cooking, as the primary goal was simply to infuse a fat with THC. The most commonly used methods generally stink up your living space, turned the butter an unsavory green or brown color, and had a terribly strong cannabis flavor. Nobody needs that concentration of terpenes in their food!
As states begin to legalize our beloved plant, norms are evolving.
I am a chef in Seattle. Specifically, I am a chef instructor for the public. I teach at my home in Capitol Hill, and also travel around the state to teach people how to cook in their own homes. I want food to taste good, not just get you stoned (although that is a pleasurable side-effect).
I design cannabis-cooking classes and recipes with the taste of the food, and the aromatic terpenes of cannabis in mind. If you don’t already know, terpenes are what provide the very distinct odor and flavor to each cannabis plant. There are a variety of scents associated with different terpenes, including berry, mint, pine, citrus…and even cheese. Although each strain contains a resident terpene combination which lends itself to certain flavors, I have found (so far) that a light concentration of terpenes goes well with many flavors.
My secret? Kief.
Kief is my best friend when it comes to cooking with cannabis. Though kief, the shiny and unprocessed yet still very cannabinoid concentrated resin glands off of the actual buds, still contains terpenes, it does not impart quite the punch of cannabis flavor to food that extracting a fresh bud will. It is also much more quickly prepped for cooking.
To prep any type of cannabis for cooking, it must go through decarboxylation, or decarbing. That’s a long word that means we apply heat for a set amount of time in order to activate the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC. Kief is a 10 minute prep time, it melts readily into fats and requires no straining of plant material.
Before making the kief butter, you must first decarboxylate the kief.
To decarboxylate kief:
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Place kief in an oven safe container, and cover.
- Bake for 7 minutes.
- Allow to cool with cover on.
Once decarboxylated, the THC in the kief is active, as in psychoactive, meaning it will now produce the euphoric feeling most commonly described as being “high.” This same procedure can also be used to decarb hash oil, shatter, or wax.
Kief Butter Recipe
- 1/2 lb Unsalted Butter
- 1 gram decarboxylated Kief (from home supply or purchase from legal retailer)
- Place butter into the saucepan and heat over medium heat until thoroughly melted.
- Add the decarboxylated kief, and stir until dissolved. Do not continue cooking once the kief is dissolved into the butter.
- Pour kief butter into silicone cupcake liners (photo below), and freeze them for fresh storage.
The liners will pop right off, are reusable, and each one is naturally 1/4 cup = 4 Tbsps, leaving it incredibly easy to measure for your next recipe. This butter will stay good in the freezer for up to 6 months.
This kief butter is very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, including any baked good or in any low heat (below 250F) preparation.
Making edibles at home is all about experimenting, and learning what works best for you. Start with baking for 10 minutes and eating a low dose when you prepare a treat. For a stronger butter, use ¼ cup or ¼ pound when preparing. For a lighter dose use 1 cup or 1 lb. Novice users should wait 90 minutes after consuming the first dose, before considering having some more.
Each time you cook with cannabis, I recommend that you write down what you did in step-by-step format. Include how much you consumed and what the strength or dosage was. Also, keep notes on how you felt each time so that you can adjust dosing to understand your comfort levels.
Use this Complete Guide to Marijuana Edibles to answer questions and curiosities about eating cannabis, and how the effects are different than with other consumption methods.