Cookies. Gummies. Candy bars. Caramels. Muffins. Mints. Truffles. Sodas. Trail mix. Crackers. Cereal.
When you walk into a dispensary, you can be blown away by the assortment of cannabis-infused edibles they have for sale.
But anyone who’s been around for a while knows there’s one type of edible that paved the way for today’s selection of yummy weed treats: brownies.
Pot brownies have been around for generations and were a staple at many parties and informal get-togethers in the 1960s and 70s. Their existence attracted national attention, however, in the early 1980s. That’s when activist Mary Jane Rathbun, who’d been selling her weed-laced brownies in San Francisco for years, began distributing them to AIDS patients in the Bay Area. She was arrested several times, and earned the nickname “Brownie Mary.”
Gummies are now the best-selling edibles at dispensaries, but brownies remain a close second for a very good reason. They’re the ideal marriage of two substances that make you happy.
You don’t have to go to a legal dispensary to indulge, of course. It’s not hard to make weed brownies in the comfort of your own kitchen.
How To Make Weed Brownies: The Preliminaries
Important Tips Before You Start
As just about every reader knows, all bud is not the same. Every strain has different effects on the body and brain when you smoke it, and that’s just as true when you use marijuana to make edibles. White Widow may be the right choice to put some life into your party; Purple Queen would be better for a just-before-bedtime snack. In other words, put as much thought into the pot you use to make brownies, as you do when making your regular purchases.
A related subject: dosage matters. If you’re using a high-THC strain, don’t go crazy with the amount of weed you put into your brownies. In fact, before making an entire batch of chocolate deliciousness that may end up being way too potent to serve, it’s a good idea to sample the cannabutter you’ll be using in your recipe (we’ll get to the details shortly).
If the cannabutter winds up unexpectedly locking you to your couch for a while, you don’t have to make an entirely new batch. There’s an easy fix. Just mix it with some regular butter to dilute its psychoactive effects, and don’t be discouraged. Enjoying weed – in any form – requires some trial and error until you find your sweet spot. Baking with it is no different.
One final suggestion: don’t think of edibles as a good way to “get rid” of your shake. You’re making pot brownies instead of regular ones for a good reason: you want to get high. If you use a low-quality product in your recipe, don’t expect a high-quality experience.
Decarbing The Weed
After you buy weed, it’s usually ready to smoke or vape. (When you grow your own, you have to dry it and cure it first.) But if you’re going to use it to make edibles, another step is required.
In short, marijuana plants don’t actually contain THC; they contain its precursor, known as THCA – and the THC has to be activated before you’ll feel its effects. The good news for smokers or vapers is that THCA turns into THC when it’s heated – so they can open their baggie or stash jar and go right to town.
When you’re using pot to make edibles, however, you have to expose it to heat first. Otherwise, your weed brownies will simply be brownies with some plant matter in them.
The process is called decarboxylation, or decarbing, and it’s thankfully not difficult. Crumple some aluminum foil and place it on a baking sheet. Grind or break the flower into small pieces (about the size of rice grains), evenly spread them on the foil, and lay another piece of foil on top. Bake at 225° for 35-40 minutes. Cool for 30-45 minutes, and you’re ready to go.
Making The Cannabutter
Baking a batch of brownies simply requires mixing ingredients together. When you’re making pot brownies, though, you first have to make one of the ingredients.
Cannabutter is simply butter that’s been infused with cannabis. You can make it in a slow cooker if you have one, but most people make it on the stove. It’s best to use a double-boiler, to make sure the butter doesn’t burn.
Simmer a cup of butter and a cup of water until the butter begins to melt, and stir in about a cup of weed. (Adjust the amount for your desired potency, as we’ve discussed.) Continue to simmer (don’t let it boil) on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring every once in a while. Strain into a container through cheesecloth, and let the cannabutter cool. Refrigerate it for an hour or so, and then remove any water that’s accumulated at the bottom of your container.
You’ll need about ½ cup for our brownie recipe; any cannabutter that’s leftover can be refrigerated for several months.
How To Make Weed Brownies At Home
Don’t worry – all the “hard work” is done. Let’s get baked.
You can find tons of recipes online; we like this modified version of the Weedmaps recipe.
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. sugar
- ½ c. flour
- ⅓ c. cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ c. cannabutter
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan.
- Melt the cannabutter in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Then slowly add the dry ingredients to the cannabutter mixture, beating well.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Test with a cake tester or toothpick to be sure the brownies are done.
- Cool in the pan, then cut, serve, and fully enjoy!
Just be sure to go slow. It takes longer to experience the full effects of edibles than when you smoke.
Best advice: if your sweet tooth immediately demands another brownie or two – find some other type of chocolate to satisfy that craving, until you know how hard (or mellow) your weed brownies will hit.
How To Make Weed Brownies FAQ
Q: That whole process takes an awful lot of time. Isn’t there a faster way to do it?
A: Sure. If you have a dispensary nearby you can buy cannabis-infused oil (we like coconut oil) instead, and substitute it for the cannabutter. Some sell cannabutter as well. You can also make your own infused oil, but that will take even longer than making cannabutter.
Q: Can you use an instant brownie mix instead of making your own?
A: Absolutely, although (personal opinion here) the brownies won’t be anywhere near as delicious. Just substitute cannabutter or infused oil, for the oil listed in the recipe printed on the box.
Q: Do I need to use buds to make weed brownies? Or can I use trim?
A: Trim can be a decent choice, as long as you are sure to decarb it first. Since it’s normally cheaper than a flower, many people use trim to make large quantities of cannabutter and store it for use whenever they feel like baking.