John Kemp’s Kitchen: Cooking with Cannabis
Hello everyone! About a month ago, the federal government passed bill C-45, the bill legalising recreational cannabis. Since then, despite a number of logistical hurdles, Canadians across the country have been able to legally purchase marijuana in a number of forms including the dried flower, oils, and capsules. The one product category, however, that hasn’t been legalised for sale by the government is that of edible cannabis. In my opinion, this is an important category in that it makes the often stigmatised world of cannabis use more accessible, especially for the more health-conscious who would rather not smoke the substance. Now, although the sale of marijuana-infused food products remains illegal, that doesn’t mean you can’t make them for your own personal use. For this reason, I’ve got a bit of a curveball for you all this issue—cannabutter.
Cannabutter (as it sounds) is cannabis-infused butter which is used in various recipes and is one of the prime delivery methods for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) when making marijuana-infused foods. It can often be substituted into regular baking recipes that include butter as a major ingredient, just so long as the given recipe doesn’t require you to bake the food for too long at too-high a temperature. I also recommend that you choose recipes that have strong flavour profiles so as to hide the marijuana flavour (this is why brownies and things of the like are so popular when it comes to baking with cannabis). Other than these couple parameters, you’re free to go off and experiment with different recipes to see what you like best—just make sure not to leave them in the family cookie jar!
Yeild: 1 cup
Time: 3-4 hours
2 cups unsalted butter
1 cup (7-10 grams) dried cannabis flower
Step 1: Decarboxylation
Preheat the oven to 245ºF. Meanwhile, place the cannabis on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake the cannabis for 30-40 minutes for newer, fresher cannabis or less for older, drier cannabis, gently turning it over every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
Step 2: Butter Infusion
Using a hand grinder, grind the prepared cannabis coarsely so as to avoid allowing any remaining flower particulate to pass into the butter when straining. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup water and the butter. Cook over low heat until the butter melts.
Once the butter has melted, add the ground cannabis. Allow to simmer at low heat (between 160ºF and 200ºF) for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
Above the container in which you plan to store your cannabutter, assemble a wire mesh strainer with a cheesecloth on top. Slowly pour the melted butter through the assembly. Do not try to push the remaining butter through the strainer as this will negatively affect the flavour of the butter.
Store the finished cannabutter in the refrigerator until needed.
And that’s all, folks! Now of course, depending on factors such as the potency of your cannabis and the cooking time and temperature, the dosing of your cannabutter will vary greatly. Edible cannabis products also tend to be quite potent and, because they need to be digested, the timing of their effects can be unpredictable. And so, with that, I say: tread with caution. Nevertheless, enjoy this recipe and all the wonderful recipes you can make with it! Happy baking—pun intended.