Easy 10 Minute ‘Agile’ Cannabis Butter or Coconut Oil Recipe
As a cannabis user, I want a technique to easily make cannabis butter (a.k.a. ‘cannabutter’) or coconut oil in my kitchen, so that I can produce my own edibles.
- The technique must work equally with either coconut oil or butter.
- The technique must be super easy and consistently yield product of a good quality.
- The technique must use easy-to-find household cooking equipment.
- The technique must not stink up the house.
- The technique must not take hours of cooking (see criteria #3).
- The technique must be compatible for producing small test batches.
Defining the Problem
If you’ve ever tried making weed butter, you’ll know that finding a solution which satisfies all of the above criteria cleanly is actually very difficult, if not impossible.
I’ve come here to give you some good news: despite everything you’ve been told to the contrary by “Big Butter,” it’s actually really, really easy to do this. So much so that I’m shocked it isn’t more widely known, as it gives in my opinion equally good results to “conventional” methods. It also does not require a crock-pot (slow cooker), or to have something on the stove top simmering for hours and hours, which can be dicey.
All it takes is a stove, a stove-top espresso pot (for reference, Wikipedia calls this a ‘moka pot’), and the ingredients listed below.
Quantities can vary depending on potency of the herb available. These are just general guidelines for you to experiment using the basic technique with whatever you have on hand.
I use AVB (‘already-vaped bud,’ or sometimes people call it ABV, ‘already been vaped) because it’s all ready to go for edibles use, having already been brought up to temperature during the vaping process, but you could also search for decarboxylation techniques if you only have fresh flower. I use AVB because it’s a great second round of usage, making it very economical.
- 6–8 grams of AVB (or whatever — experiment)
- Enough water to fill at least half the lowest chamber in the espresso pot
- “A decent amount” of butter or coconut oil (maybe 2–3 tablespoons, but you can experiment with more
These are pretty un-scientific, but ought to serve to get you most of the way there. YouTube has some videos which show parts of this under slightly different arrangements, but last time I looked there wasn’t one that showed the super simple full technique as described below.
Again, this is just to describe the basic technique so you can experiment:
- Unscrew the top of the espresso pot, and remove the middle chamber.
- Put your butter/oil into the bottom chamber, and fill it at least half way with water (maybe slightly more for good measure — I think not less than that though, or you may have issues bringing to a boil at required temps).
- Weigh out (and record) the quantity of AVB/decarbed herb you use, and put it into the middle chamber where the coffee grounds would normally go.
- Screw the top back on, and put the espresso pot on the stove for at least 10 minutes on medium heat. It may take a little longer than that, depending on various factors that I have not perfected (possibly including quantity of water). I have not got it completely dialed in, but I think you don’t want to use high heat because… reasons. Might burn the butter? (Probably) Might also reduce the amount of time where the heated water is passing up through the herb. I don’t really know, so experiment and leave comments with your results. This technique has been pieced together from various online sources and a few rounds of experimentation.
- In any event, you will hear it begin to “burp” as the heated water/butter mix passes up through the herb in the middle chamber, and bubbles out into the top chamber internally. (The Wikipedia page linked above has a good animated diagram to show you how the espresso pot works; I didn’t understand it at first either.)
- You want to make sure you get all the herby oily juice out of it, so make sure it’s done spurting up into the upper chamber. You can slightly raise the heat at the tail end of this process if needed to chase out the last of it, but you’ll see it stop at some point.
- Pour the resulting liquid off into a pyrex measuring cup, or something similar, and stick it into the refrigerator once it has cooled a bit. Let the butter/oil and the water completely separate. This might take an hour or more, depending on relative quantities and the temperature at which you put it into cold storage. You can also speed this process slightly by putting it into the freezer, but have to be careful you water does not freeze, as this makes the resulting butter/oil layer much harder to separate than what the water is still liquid.
- After the butter/oil and water are separated from the water, use a butter knife to poke in around the edges of the top enough so that you can pry it out of the pyrex cup.
Agile is a development framework where you (among other things) iterate by producing small batches or increments of work, and then observing and improving as you go. Cannabis cooking can be pretty experimental as a process, so it’s a compatible approach, in my opinion. Plus it’s hilarious. What can I say? I’m “passionate” about continuous process improvement!