Maybe it’s because you’re holding our annual issue celebrating cannabis. Or maybe it’s because your yearly day off and all-day party fest, Marathon Monday, approaches. Which, of course, also happens to be 4/20. Whatever the reason, you’re probably thinking what we’re thinking. It’s a great time to talk about pot brownies.
Thus, we enlisted the help of a friend of ours, to whom we often for such things. We’re told he lives in a heavily fortified pillow fort on the banks of the Charles River under the BU Bridge, and for the sake of identity protection, let’s call him “John Phish.” John Phish is well known for his ability to embrace the joy of cannabis cooking, and lucky for us he’s got a tried-and-true method that’s quick and easy, requiring minimal ingredients and nothing beyond general baking abilities and the mental capacity needed to operate a standard stove. So we had John Phish take us through his steps, and recreated them here for your use. Just bookmark this page or print out and hang on the fridge, and the next time the mood strikes (or you just want to make grandma’s 89th birthday all that it really could be), carve out about an hour and a half from your next Netflix binge-watching session. Grandma will be glad you did.
If she asks where you learned how, tell her John Phish taught you.
TRIPLE FUDGE POT BROWNIES
John Phish says: “This is the one I do the most often, as it wastes less product, [and] is easier to create with no complex requirements.”
Prep time: 10-15 minutes. Weed cook time: 30 minutes. Baking time: 30-40 minutes.
Take an eighth of your chosen strain, and de-stem the nuggets. Best to use weed that’s not too sticky or moist, something that’s dried yet still fresh. Break up. You can use a flour miller or a little strainer, and hand-mash it. One eighth per batch. Yields a dozen cookies or brownies.
When you’re putting the cannabis directly into a baked good, you want to get it as close as you can to a flour consistency. Not for any direct baking science-related issues, but for the simple fact that you don’t want to detect that you’re biting into dried leaf blossoms. You want it to just dissipate into the batter, making for a better eating experience from a pure taste and texture perspective. As John Phish says: “Nothing worse than biting into a nugget.”
Spread the weed across a tin-foiled pan as loose and thin as possible so there’s a lot of air in between it all. Wastes less product this way. Cook the straight weed at 275 degrees for 30 minutes for decarboxylation, and for activating the psychoactive effects for more consistent edibles.
Mix the ground-up activated cannabis into the dry mix, follow mixing directions for the brownies on the box, and adjust for the directions of the brownie mix considering you are cooking less than the outlined directions. Mix your wet ingredients (veg oil, one egg) together, adding just two to three extra drops of veg oil to compensate for the added product (weed) in the powder mix. Stir oil, egg, and a touch of water—but only loosely, no need to emulsify it. Should look like oil and water with yellow.
Take a little veg oil on a paper towel and grease down the muffin pan that will make the cupcakes. Dollop a quarter cup (depending on baking pan), and drop batter in with a slight twist at the end to ensure all batter is getting in there.
Try to use Ghirardelli Triple Fudge. John Phish says: “Reason I like this one is instead of mixing in the included fudge with a swirl, you put the batter in the muffin tin, then wet your finger and dip in to create a dimple in center, where you’ll squeeze a small dollop of the fudge. It works out good this way because it means the center isn’t raw, and the rest of the batter cooks up around it.”
Set the oven at a lower temp. If it’s a newer oven that keeps track of temp well, 300 is safe. If older, 275, for 30-40mins (you’re baking at a lower temp in order to not bake off the THC), give or take five minutes depending on the size of the cupcakes. Remove and enjoy.
Set up a cup and a half of water to cover the bottom inch of a medium sized pot (depending on size of batch you’re making). Take a single quarter stick of butter, and seven grams of cooked, pre-activated cannabis (see above). Place quarter stick of butter in cold water before it starts boiling, and add cannabis. Leave butter on slow, rolling boil for about 30 mins.
Boil until 2/3 of water is gone, which typically takes 30-40 mins if starting with an inch of water in bottom of the pot. Note: Brownish water will separate from the organic matter after a rolling boil. The water keeps it from reaching over 220 degrees (which regulates the strength better), and cleans out some of the extra particles after straining.
Use a sieve to scoop out large portions, and pour liquid through a strong, thinly-holed paper towel to strain the organic matter and imperfections from it, along with leftover water (which the paper will absorb) from the cooking cannabis. Discard what’s leftover. Or, take that and do another batch of weaker brownies, depends on your waste factor (as there’s a little residual THC in there.) Place strained butter into the freezer to speed up solidification.
Once it’s solidified, remove and drain the water after inserting a knife or wedge, with small chipping movements around the edge. Slowly you’ll see the water underneath start to bubble, looking for a place to escape, or perhaps a gulp of air. But that down the sink with a small opening for it to pour out from underneath the green butter, forming a hockey puck of the greenish-yellow quarter stick and 7 grams-strong butter (note: that’s fairly strong). But, you’re better off making your butter stronger and substitute later (plain butter + weed butter = half as strong weed butter). Place butter in fridge or freezer (don’t forget to clean the brownish water residue from the bottom with a cold paper towel), remove, and apply to all things requiring it. Works great on toast.
Or anything where butter is involved, really. It’s butter.