By Johnny Green
How To Make Marijuana Butter
However, this is the marijuana butter recipe that I have refined over the years, and anyone who knows me knows how strong Johnny Green’s marijuana butter is. If TWB readers have a solid marijuana butter method, feel free to post it in the comments so that others can try it out!
I personally make my marijuana butter out of clippings/trim from my friend’s harvests. You can use crushed up marijuana nugs or shake, but I have found this marijuana butter recipe to be as strong as anything out there, so I don’t see the point in using marijuana that I can smoke when I can use marijuana leaves that other people were going to throw away. I use the leaves, not the stems. Stems have far less cannabinoid oil than the water and sugar leaves. Of course, if you want to throw stems in, there’s no reason not to – it’s up to you.
I don’t know how to cook or bake, but I am definitely a science nerd. I once consulted my community college chemistry professor about this marijuana butter recipe, and he pointed out that it’s essentially a chemical reaction. He instructed that we are bonding the oil from the butter with the oil from the marijuana. The more oil you can bond, the stronger the final product.
Some things to keep in mind when performing a chemical reaction are surface area, duration, intensity, and the use of a catalyst (in this case heat).
I start the process by preparing the clippings/trim. I get all the debri and stems out of the mixture to where all that is left is the sugar and water leaves. Throughout the years, I have found that running the clip/trim through a food processor is the best way to ‘mulch up’ the clip/trim. This is where surface area comes into play.
If you boil a full marijuana leaf, only the outside of the leaf is being reacted upon. But if you turn that same leaf into something as fine as sand, there is more surface area on each little piece of marijuana flake, which unlocks more oil from it. I have used a blender and other means to try to mulch up the marijuana leaves, but a food processor allows you to push the leaves through the blade more efficiently. I can mulch up a huge bag of marijuana trim in no time flat, whether the leaves are dry or fresh.
The next thing to do is fill your pots with the mulch. Whatever size pot you use, fill it about a third of the way with the mulch. That’s what I like about this recipe – it allows you to make marijuana butter out of whatever you can get your hands on. If it’s a small batch of trim, use a small pot. If it’s a good harvest and there’s lots of trim, use multiple pots. Either way, whatever you are using, fill it one third of the way with mulch. From there add sticks of butter and water at a 1/4 ratio, meaning for every stick of butter (4 oz) you add in, put in 16 oz of water. Do this until the entire mixture is filling 2/3 of the container. You don’t want to fill it up all the way, because when it starts boiling it will boil over, and the situation gets serious, trust me!
Now that you have a big pot of floating marijuana flakes and sticks of butter, it’s time to introduce the heat.
I like to turn the burner up all the way, and monitor things, stirring as needed. This allows the mixture to get as hot as possible, which is one of the things I talked about with my college professor. Some people will say you need to bring your mixture to a low boil, such as in a crock pot, and let it go for a long, long time (an entire day in some cases). I boil mine as hot as I can get it, then lowering the burner down to about half to 3/4 after things get going. I boil it until about half of the water evaporates from the violent boiling (about 1-1.5 hours). I then add more water until the water level is back to where it was when I started. I will repeat that once or twice. I will put my quicker method up against other people’s slow boil method any day of the week – time tested, veteran approved.
After about three to four hours, there will be a lot of oil floating on top of the mixture. That’s when you know you’re done (if time allows). From there I strain the mixture through a flat strainer that is placed on top of the container that will ultimately go into the fridge. After the water has passed through the strainer, there is a pile of mulch on the strainer. In the past, I would press the mulch up against the strainer to get the rest of the liquid out. I thought I got most, if not all of the valuable oily liquid from the mulch.
However, one day curiosity got the best of me and I decided to put on some gloves and squeeze the mulch that was left, by hand, to see how much was oily liquid was left after the initial spatula press. Wouldn’t you know it, there’s A LOT more oil left in the mulch, and angry looking oil at that. I can squeeze down a ball of drained mulch from the size of a grapefruit to the size of a plum. All of that is liquid goodness, and some of the most potent stuff on the planet.
After all the liquid is drained into the container, you will instantly see the oil (on top) separate from the water (on the bottom). Place the container in the fridge overnight. When you wake up the next morning, the oil will have become a solid chunk of marijuana butter. Be careful when taking it out of the container. I’ve had the nasty underwater spill all over my kitchen before, which was not fun to clean up!
Store the marijuana butter in the fridge, but monitor it for mold every couple of days. It should last a couple weeks at least if it’s stored properly in the fridge and moisture is removed from the butter. If you want to avoid the mold problem altogether, put the butter in the freezer. It makes it a little harder to bake and cook with because you have to de-thaw it, but it lasts a lot longer. That’s it!
Now that you know how to make marijuana butter, use it in cookies, brownies, frosting, BBQ, or just about anything!