Pot brownies are almost a symbol of weed culture – if you hand anyone who is even vaguely aware of pop culture a brownie, there’s an extremely good chance that they’ll ask, tentatively as if they secretly hope it’s true, “is there any pot in this?”
This universal symbol of getting high is seen as a mythical, almost unobtainable substance. With the arrival of grudging legalization, however, it is easier than ever to get your hands on one.
Weed brownies are purchasable at any weed dispensary, but as any good baker knows, there’s nothing that quite compares to your own handiwork.
The best weed brownies are the ones you make yourself. But… How do you actually make them?
Here’s everything you need to know to make the best weed brownies possible.
What Strain Should You Use?
Before you even consider the process of making weed brownies, you need to decide what marijuana you want to put in them.
You can make the brownies using whatever strain you like, you simply have to choose. If you’re looking for stereotypical, couch-locked, sleepy high, then you want to find a reliable indica strain to make the brownies with.
If, however, you are looking for something with exquisite clarity and a strong mind high, then you want a sativa. This latter option is also the best choice if you’re looking for something you can administer to yourself while on the go, or to bring to a party for some friends to enjoy.
There are any number of strains you can choose from based on your desired effects, so pick whatever is easy to get in your local area and coincides with your desired effects.
Once you’ve got your hands on your marijuana though, what do you do with it?
To make marijuana brownies, you’re going to want to make cannabutter. Cannabutter is simply a fat – often butter, hence the name – that has been infused with cannabis through an extraction method. You can then use this cannabutter to imbue your brownies with the wonderful effects of the marijuana.
Before we get into the methods, you need to first pick your desired fat.
What Type of Fat?
Even though it’s known as cannabutter, you can actually make it using any type of fat you want.
The reason we use a fat is because cannabinoids, like THC and CBD that we want to extract from the marijuana, are fat soluble. This means that the important compounds will stick to fat, in the same way that germs or bacteria stick to soap when we use it in the shower.
Despite that rather grisly comparison, we use fats because it’s just the easiest way to grab what we want from the marijuana without having to simply throw the buds in the recipe, which sadly won’t do much.
So, here is a short list of pros and cons for which fat to use:
1. Fits into most cooking recipes easily.
2. Contributes a great flavor.
3. Develops a radical green shine when used with marijuana.
1. Intensely fatty and generally bad for you in large quantities.
2. Is prone to burning, so requires careful monitoring during the extraction process.
1. Pleasant flavor.
2. Low in saturated fats.
1. Distinctive flavor makes most recipes you use it with into a coconut recipe.
1. It has a neutral taste, which means it won’t affect the taste of your recipe.
2. Easy to monitor and manage in extraction.
1. Can mess up certain recipes due to the viscosity of most oils.
Generally speaking, butter is traditional because it’s the easiest to fit in most baking recipes. For certain brownie and cake recipes though, neutral oils can actually tend to be a lot better. Butter does due extremely well, though.
If you don’t mind having to watch and stir it, go with butter.
Before we can begin extracting THC and other useful cannabinoids from the marijuana, we need to put the bud through a process known as decarboxylation.
This process is necessary because THC is not actually extremely present on the raw marijuana buds. Instead, cannabis buds have a compound called THCA, which possesses an extra carboxyl ring attached to the compound chain. In essence, this is a different compound to THC, one that is almost entirely non-intoxicating.
This is the reason why if you attempted to simply eat raw marijuana, you wouldn’t get anywhere near as high as if you went through the decarboxylation process.
To decarboxylate marijuana, it needs to be heated to around 220 Fahrenheit for roughly 30-40 minutes. You can do this in an oven, with the marijuana spread evenly on a baking sheet. The marijuana needs to be finely ground first, as if you were going to roll it into a joint. This allows for the decarboxylation process to occur more evenly. Make sure you stir it frequently! You don’t want to end up with burned bud!
What happens during this process is that the THCA is converted into regular THC through heat, losing its additional carboxyl ring. This allows you to produce some psychoactive bud, which is key for your pot brownies.
The reason this isn’t necessary when smoking it is because this process happens near instantly during combustion when you’re smoking it. Although it doesn’t seem like it, a joint is actually incredibly hot, burning away those carboxyl rings at the same time as you take a toke.
So, make sure to decarboxylate your bud before you bake with it! Otherwise you’re just left with a green, earthy flavor and not much else.
The actual extraction process is remarkably simple. One word of warning however: This process has a distinct smell, so make sure you’re keeping your space well ventilated and free of nosy neighbors.
First, you need to melt your butter in pan. Exact amounts will be below in the recipe. Once it is thoroughly melted over low heat, you need to add an equal amount of water, bring it to a gentle simmer, and then add your decarboxylated marijuana.
You need to add water to stop the butter from burning, as well as to encourage the cannabinoids to leech from the bud into the fat. As the bud is gently simmered, the cannabinoids will fall out of suspension within the bud, clinging to the fat in the butter.
After between 30 minutes and 2 hours – the exact time depends on the size of your grind and how you’re using – the cannabinoids will have completely transferred to the fat.
All that remains is to pour the mixture through a sieve to separate out the marijuana crumbs and pout the resulting liquid in the fridge. After roughly 2 hours, the butter in the mixture will have solidified and settled, leaving you with a solid layer of cannabutter and a pool or murky water.
Separate and throw away the water and you are left with perfect cannabutter! Simply use it in place of normal butter in your favorite brownie recipe and you’ll be getting high in no time.
If you are of the sadly benighted class of people not in possession of a favorite brownie recipe – shame on you if so! – then here is a great recipe to use as a base for your pot brownies.
These can be altered however you like based on your preferred tastes. If you like a different amount of chocolate, if you prefer to add white chocolate chips, little marshmallows or even nuts – it doesn’t matter!
Tailor this recipe to what you prefer, then enjoy the high from your homemade pot brownies!
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
First, melt your cannabutter in a large saucepan. Make sure you don’t scorch the butter fats!
Once melted and removed from the heat, stir in the sugar, eggs and the vanilla.
Beat in the cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder, making sure not to go too vigorously or you might spill the flour.
Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes at 350F.
Cannabutter may be often thought of as an illicit treat, but thanks to the nascent modernity of the world’s views towards marijuana, it is quickly becoming more and more common. Assuming you live in a legal state, it is so easy to go out and get all you need to make the perfect Cannabutter at home to use in your homemade pot brownies.
Whether enjoying these brownies with a group of friends, or simply pigging out on your own over several days, remember to take care. When imbibing edibles, the high can sneak up on you pretty suddenly – it can take between 1 and 3 hours for the full effect to kick in, so make sure you don’t eat too many at once! Though you won’t overdose, no one likes feeling anxious, paranoid and generally freaked out from too much marijuana.