The first step in cooking magical cannabis-laced foods is extracting the cannabinoids (THC, CBD, and many many more) from the plant matter, usually in a oil/fat/butter-based solution, since the cannabinoids do not readily dissolve in water. My best FOAF has a method for doing this that he has not seen mention of in this forum. He got it from a little book called The Art and Science of Cooking with Cannabis, by Adam Gottlieb, orignally published in 1974. Gottlieb calls the product of the extraction "CANNABUTTER."
The procedure is actually very simple. He brings a pot of water to a rolling boil, then puts a small amount of butter in the water. Quickly, the butter melts, and mixes in with the water because the whole mixture is at a rolling boil.
Then he puts the grass in and boils it. (Of course, he separates all the seeds first so he can plant them in the nearby park.) Now all the grass is riling around with the water and butter, and get this: The cannabinoids dissolve into the butter, while most of the nasty flavors and gook dissolve into the water. He stirs the stuff regularly. After cooking the grass like this for a while (say, half an hour), his kitchen really smells incriminating. He strains out the spent plant matter, squeezes all the juice out of it, and puts the liquid in the fridge.
A few hours later, the mixture is cool enough that the cannabutter has solidified on the surface. It looks kind of scummy, but its just enchanted butter. He scoops it out and retains it in a bowl or a jar. The grass-nasty water is thrown out.
The cannabutter can be used just like butter, in brownies, on garlic bread, or mixed with honey on your finger!
Although this method takes longer than the usual saute-n-strain method, it has several advantages:
If I have given any incorrect information, please let me know, so I can learn. (On Usenet, though, no email please.)
I suppose that one does want to avoid extreme heat, though... like open flame ;-) Anyway, I made my butter in a double-boiler, which is sort of a saucepan full of water, with another saucepan that mates on top of it, so that the bottom of one covers the top of the other (I went out and bought a very nice Revereware double-boiler recently, but I digress). So, in the bottom boiler, you put water, enough, say, that you have only an inch or two between the water and the bottom of the second boiler. In the second boiler, put 1 quart of water, 1/4 oz, and a stick of butter. Simmer the stuff over low heat for a few hours, at least: I waited till it turned brownish. (the double boiler keeps direct heat away from the stuff, so it's used to cook heat-sensitive foods such as eggs and butter, without burning them).
Now, once you're satisfied with your mixture of butter, THC, water, and vegetation, prepare a bowl and something like a funnel lined with cheese-cloth, or a cheese-cloth bag. You can buy cheese-cloth at the grocery store: it will catch the vegetable matter, keeping it out of the bowl, into which you pour the butter/water mixture. Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the cheese-cloth. If you really want to, you could keep the now-hopefully-impotent bud, but I've always just pitched it.
So. Allow your butter/water to settle and cool (I refrigerate it). The butter will rise to the top, and can be lifted out, but I usually am not satisfied with all the particles of butter that remain, so I run the water through a piece of cheesecloth and try to catch some of it. Anyway, that green gunk is butter, and you can spread it on your toast, make a sandwich with it, or cook with it. About two "pats" of butter stone me pretty well, but your milage may vary. I usually try to disguise the taste with something like a pepperoni and garlic pesto cheese on rye sandwich, but you tastes probably vary ;-)
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