click to enlarge Artist rendering of a matcha-pistachio cannatruffle

Artist rendering of a matcha-pistachio cannatruffle

A mysterious Orlando weed chef teaches us to make our own cannabis butter truffles 

Day tripping

Not too long ago I was invited to attend a mimosa pre-game and bike adventure to a local arts festival. Naturally, I wanted to bring a perfect little treat to celebrate the occasion and I knew these friends were down to dabble. In weed, that is. After a quick assessment of my stash, I decided on an easy-ish edible that would travel well and be fun to pair with mimosas – cannabutter truffles.

Weed edibles are not a quick project. Making cannabutter is a process. So if you're crunched for time, stick with the smoke. When bringing edibles to a gathering, remember some may prefer not to partake; I typically bring a non-dosed version of the same treat so no one has FOMO. Also, a non-dank version helps to avoid the dreaded greenout: a mix of dosed and non-dosed means you can keep nibbling without your THC levels skyrocketing. (Anyone who's had a bad edible experience knows what that panic feels like – it will seriously ruin your day.)

Here are the basic steps of making cannabutter with equipment most people have on hand. I make this regularly for clients who have their medical marijuana card and it's a great way to help improve appetite and soothe other symptoms, while still feeling luxurious instead of medicinal. (Improving your mood is important too when you're sick.) There are countless cannabutter approaches, but here I've boiled it down to a few steps requiring minimal hands-on time.

Cannabutter

Ingredients:

¼ ounce marijuana, roughly broken up with your fingers

2 sticks unsalted butter

Note on decarboxylizing: I've heard the stories of people making pot brownies, eating them and nothing happens. It's clear they missed this step. Converting your flower to something consumable requires activating the THC. This inherently happens when you smoke; with edibles, it's a low and slow approach.

Preheat your oven to 240 degrees. Place your bud on a sheet pan and bake for 40 minutes. While your weed is danking up your kitchen, get out that dusty old crock pot. (Instant Pot fanatics, I'm sure you can figure out how to make this work.) Half-fill with water and set to medium-high. But don't let the water boil – you want to keep your product safe from overcooking while maximizing potency and flavor.

Place your toasted weed in a mason jar with the butter. Close lid lightly (not super tight) and place in the crock. Cover and steep weed in butter for at least six hours. Check the water level every few hours and add more if needed. And if you're not worried about prying neighbors, feel free to plug in that stinking baby out on the patio.

Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the infusion over a bowl and let it cool. Most of the good stuff has been transferred to the butter, but feel free to save those leftover nugs for steeping pot tea or garnishing savory dishes. Refrigerate cannabutter for up to two months.

Cannabutter Truffles

(Makes about 25 truffles)

Ingredients:

8 ounces high quality dark chocolate

½ cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons cannabutter

½ teaspoon instant espresso or 1 teaspoon prepared coffee (optional)

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Optional garnishes:

Toasted, chopped pistachios or matcha (green marks the dosed ones)

Toasted coconut or confectioners' sugar (for your non-dosed pairing)

Chop the chocolate finely and place in a mixing bowl. Slowly heat the cream in a small saucepan until it barely boils. Pour cream into the chocolate and whisk together until melted. Whisk in cannabutter, coffee and vanilla. Set aside at room temperature for one hour.

With a 2-teaspoon scoop or a melon baller, portion out round balls of your chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Be sure to keep portions to 2 teaspoons each. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until firm. Roll each dollop of chocolate in your hands to make the truffles into spheres, more or less, then roll them in selected garnishes. (Resist the urge to lick your hands until all are dressed.) These truffles will keep refrigerated for two weeks. Serve at room temperature.

Note on dosing: I like to try to keep each truffle to about 5-6 mg of THC. Assuming an 18% THC level, I backed into this recipe using an edible dosage calculator that will keep these treats approachable. Because most of us are working with non-medical grade product, it's hard to know the exact THC content, so if you're new to edibles, resist the urge to eat more than one until you know your tolerance. Use about

½ teaspoon of this butter recipe as a general per-person baseline. If you know what you can handle and want to go beyond ... by all means, let 'er rip!

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