I tried making weed brownies for the very first time, and was shocked how delicious and strong they were

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Chelsea Davis
·9 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
18.JPG
Making weed brownies wasn't as intimidating as I thought it'd be. Chelsea Davis for Insider
  • I've never baked edibles before making weed brownies with a simple recipe.

  • After consulting with weed experts, I used distillate, a type of cannabis extract, in my brownies.

  • The brownies were easy to make, potent, and pretty delicious due to the icing.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

In honor of 4/20, I tried baking weed brownies for the first time.

The recipe I used is originally from someone named Martha Louise Stewart - not the Martha Stewart, though the celeb chef does have her own CBD line - and originally appeared on MarthaStewart.com sans weed a few years ago. I found the cannabis-infused version on Leafly.com, a popular cannabis website.

Put bluntly (pun intended), I'm a baker, not a smoker nor an edibles eater, so working with weed was totally new for me. Fortunately, this recipe seemed like it would be simple enough for me to follow.

Read on to find out how my first time baking weed brownies went and the tricks I learned along the way.

First, I made a stop at a legal cannabis dispensary to get the key part of my recipe: cannabis distillate

The most intimidating part of the whole process was figuring out what type of marijuana substance I would use to infuse the brownies with.

Some recipes call for cannabis-infused butter, but this one suggested using an infused oil or activated oil, like a distillate. A distillate is a potent cannabis extract that's a base ingredient for a lot of edibles and generally lacks aroma and flavor.

Solomon Jonson - a "Chopped 420" contestant and co-owner and chef of The Bussdown in Oakland, California - told me he also recommends using THC distillate to infuse brownies because it's flavorless.

"It may be a little harder to find distillate for some of us but it's totally worth hunting down and using for your perfect batch of pot brownies," says Johnson. "I've found that my favorite medicated treats taste less like cannabis and more like the food product being medicated."

Since cannabis is legal in California for medical and recreational use, I was able to visit Berner's On Haight, Haight Ashbury's first legal cannabis dispensary, to pick up my key ingredient.

dispensary
Berner's On Haight is an iconic dispensary in Haight Ashbury, San Francisco. Chelsea Davis for Insider

Ty Sha, marijuana expert and lead Budtender at Berner's On Haight, agreed a distillate would be best for my recipe. He recommended a 90% THC distillate named Strawberry Cough.

weed brownies
Distillate can be a bit difficult to find. Chelsea Davis for Insider

Though this hybrid wasn't cheap - it typically costs between $40 to $50 - Sha said the 1,000-milligram syringe would make for a very potent batch of brownies.

When making my brownies, I had to ensure the distillate got uniformly mixed throughout the batter

5.JPG
Distillate is extremely viscous. Chelsea Davis for Insider

Before I began baking, I had to prepare to infuse my distillate with vegetable oil so it could be evenly distributed in my batter.

"Distillate is already thick like honey, so you'll want to heat it up a little bit before incorporating it into your batter," Sha told me. "Getting it to mix uniformly is important - you don't want one pocket of your brownies to be overly concentrated."

I heated the distillate syringe in a bowl of warm water for about five minutes in an attempt to loosen it up.

weed brownies
I should have let it soak longer. Chelsea Davis for Insider

This didn't really do too much and it was tough to squeeze the extract out into my oil. The distillate and oil mixture was still pretty thick so I decided to microwave it for about 25 seconds.

weeed oil
This was before I microwaved the oil. Chelsea Davis for Insider

I whisked the oil and distillate together with a fork and the mixture finally developed a silky consistency that I could work with.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, I added my cannabis-infused oil, sugar, and eggs on low for 10 minutes

weeed brownies
Other than the distillate, all of the ingredients are pretty standard for brownies. Chelsea Davis for Insider

I cracked four eggs while the mixer was on low, then added the 2/3 cup of my cannabis-infused oil and 2 cups of sugar and mixed for a full 10 minutes.

The consistency was smooth and fully blended once the 10 minutes were up.

Next I sifted my flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt

10.JPG
The ingredients were easy to mix. Chelsea Davis for Insider

I gradually added the sifted dry ingredients to the egg mixture, beating until just combined. Then I stirred in some pecans and vanilla.

I preheated my oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepped my brownies for the oven

13.JPG
If the temperature is too hot, the THC will lose its quality. Chelsea Davis for Insider

Chef Johnson said it's crucial to bake pot brownies "low and slow" between 340 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

"THC is completely degraded at temperatures higher than 390 degrees so avoid high temperatures at all cost," he added.

I poured my batter into a buttered 9-inch by 13-inch nonstick pan and popped it into the oven. I didn't want to overcook the brownies, so I kept checking on them every few minutes until the center was firm.

14.JPG
I used a toothpick to check doneness. Chelsea Davis for Insider

To make sure the brownies were definitely done, I stuck a toothpick in the center and it came out clean without any wet batter.

The recipe said to bake for about 35 minutes, but I ended up leaving mine in the oven for closer to 45.

While the brownies baked, I made the chocolate icing

I'm a huge fan of icing so I doubled my recipe which made for a perfectly thick layer across the brownies (and then some).

weed brownie icing
The icing had a nice, thick consistency. Chelsea Davis for Insider

It was super easy to make. In the bowl of an electric mixer, I beat the eggs and slowly added a cup of confectioner's sugar.

weed frosting
I continued to add the confectioner's sugar until it had the right texture. Chelsea Davis for Insider

Then with the mixer running, I added 1/2 cup of the sugar and cocoa powder. I added the remaining sugar, vanilla, and melted butter until it was all mixed in.

Once the brownies cooled and set, I topped them with a thick layer of icing.

weed brownie frosted
The icing really put these brownies over the top. Chelsea Davis for Insider

I didn't make the icing with more distillate, so I hoped it would have a normal, decadent chocolate taste.

Based on expert advice, I started with a small piece of brownie

weeed brownie
These brownies were dense. Chelsea Davis for Insider

Both Johnson and Sha agreed that less is more when it comes to figuring out your tolerance level for edibles.

"For someone who's never done it, you'll want to start with a small portion of a brownie. Maybe a quarter of a brownie," Sha said. "It's always better to eat too little than too much."

Johnson said he recommends microdosing (trying small amounts of the edible at a time) if you aren't familiar with the dosage in the dish. If you aren't sure how strong your brownies are, he said, cut them in half or fourths to "stretch out your vibe."

Since my recipe contained 900 MG of 90% THC and yielded 12 brownies, I figured each one ended up containing about 75 mg of THC. This amount is best for expert, high-tolerant consumers of THC and is supposed to result in a super intense high.

As a beginner, I knew I should start with a small piece of brownie. I paired it with a scoop of ice cream for an over-the-top sundae.

These brownies were very potent and, fortunately, didn't have much of a weed taste

My brownies were a success and I could definitely feel the effects of the distillate.

The brownies came out so decadent and dangerously delicious. They were super fudgy, thick, and chocolaty. The pecans added a pleasant, subtle crunch to them as well. The texture of the brownie was perfect.

Though these didn't taste very strongly like weed, there was a distinctly not-brownie flavor in them that someone would probably be able to point out if asked.

Fortunately, the indulgently sweet, thick icing definitely countered any off-putting weed taste.

These brownies were truly delicious, so if you make them be sure to enjoy them safely and in doses that are most appropriate for you. You also don't have to consume the whole batch at once.

According to Leafly, weed brownies can last two weeks at room temperature, a month in the fridge, or up to three months in the freezer. If you plan to freeze the brownies, it's helpful to cut them into pieces ahead of time so you can thaw just how much you want.

You'll also want to store your edibles in an airtight container or bag and keep them away from light, which can degrade THC.

And definitely make sure to clearly label these if you have roommates or other people in your home who might not know about the secret ingredient in this fudgy dessert.

If you're going to try making these for yourself, here are my top tips

  1. Use a distillate, a potent cannabis extract that usually has no smell or taste.

  2. Warm the distillate before adding it to an oil to make sure it evenly blends with your ingredients.

  3. Bake the brownies at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit since temperatures over 390 can degrade THC.

  4. Eat a small amount of brownie, especially if you're not familiar with the recipe or your own tolerance (experts call this "microdosing").

  5. Double the amount of icing you use to mask any THC flavor.

  6. Clearly label your brownies and store them in an airtight container away from light, which can degrade THC.

  7. Freeze your brownies to keep them fresh and potent for up to three months.

  8. Before freezing brownies, cut them into small pieces so you don't have to thaw a whole batch to enjoy a small bite.

Here is the weed-brownie recipe I used from Leafly.com

Read the original article on Insider