LATEST PAPER
78° Good Evening
78° Good Evening
Eat and Drink

4/20 recipe for 'weed' butter from chef Michael J. Cirino

For chef Michael J. Cirino, it's high time for cannabis to enter the culinary lexicon.

Like other "legal" intoxicants, including caffeine and alcohol, cannabis, too, can be used in moderation, he said. Consuming edibles need not be associated with complete intoxication.

"Wine, coffee ... Those vices and others, everything except cannabis has been accepted into modern society," he said. By understanding the chemical compounds of the plant and learning how to take lighter doses, Cirino hopes cannabis will reach a similar status.

Cirino is teaching cooking with cannabis courses at the Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg. The first is April 20 (4/20) and is sold out. The next is on May 11. (Editor's note: Throughout this piece, we are discussing cooking with pot, but marijuana is not legal for recreational use in New York. Therefore, a stand-in was used: oregano.)

Here's how to make "weed" butter:

The 'weed'

For the purposes of this demonstration, oregano stands
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

For the purposes of this demonstration, oregano stands in for marijuana. Note: the amount pictured here is more than is needed for this recipe.

Grind / chop your green

Important to your enjoyment of the
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

Important to your enjoyment of the "weed" butter is how finely the buds and leaves are chopped. If your knife skills are good, mince the greens. You can also use a grinder traditionally used with marijuana.

Mix herb with fat

Without the chemical process called decarboxylation, eating weed
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

Without the chemical process called decarboxylation, eating weed will have little effect. Cirino, who has a background in molecular gastronomy and chemistry, said that the psychoactive compounds in the marijuana won't be "turned on" without adding heat. When smoking or vaporizing, the heat from those sources allows the process of decarboxylation to occur. When you're going to consume edible marijuana, you must add heat.

Cirino recommends using a fat with a high smoking point. In this demonstration, he used beef tallow (rendered fat), but duck fat also works well, he said.

Weed butter recipe (8 servings):

Ingredients:

50 grams tallow or duck fat

150 grams butter

0.5 grams legally-sourced cannabis

salt, shallots, fine herbs to taste

Cook the "weed" in the tallow over low heat in a double boiler for about 3 hours. Can be stored covered in refrigerator for up to one week.

Prepare other herbs

Cirino adds other fine herbs to his
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

Cirino adds other fine herbs to his "weed" butter. Depending on what you are using the butter for, rosemary, parsley and tarragon could add welcome flavor.

Combine your fats

After the
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

After the "weed" tallow has cooled, it's time to combine with the butter. Both should be at room temperature.

Mix...

Incorporate the tallow evenly throughout the butter.
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

Incorporate the tallow evenly throughout the butter.

Prepare the vessel

In this case, the steak. Any cut will
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

In this case, the steak. Any cut will work.

'Inebriation is not the goal'

For Cirino, in order for cannabis to cast
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

For Cirino, in order for cannabis to cast off its stigma, the plant must be considered in the way other vices (caffeine, alcohol) are considered. For example, weed should be something we can enjoy in smaller doses. "There is a benefit to microdosing," he said.

About one dose

The dose in this recipe, according to Cirino,
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

The dose in this recipe, according to Cirino, is what he calls a "cocktail" dose. You'll feel it, but it won't last all night. In this recipe, each portion of butter has approximately 4-6 milligrams of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary psychoactive component of the marijuana plant.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Eat and Drink photos & videos