How to make pot brownies

Infused brownies are one of the oldest edibles in the cannabis cookbook. Brownies pop up first when people talk about edibles, and it's no wonder why. Their sweet, chocolatey goodness satisfies those with a sweet tooth as well as those searching for a potent alternative to smoking weed.

eating pot brownies edibles
Infused brownies are one of the oldest edibles in the cannabis cookbook.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The first pot brownies on record were created by the famous cannabis activist Mary Jane Rathburn, who came to be known as "Brownie Mary" for her invention. Rathburn wanted to provide much-needed cannabis medicine to hospitalized AIDS patients in the LGBTQ community. To do so, she baked cannabis into her delicious homemade brownie recipe and snuck her pastries into hospitals in the 1980s. Rathburn later was arrested for whipping up the brownies in a historic bust that catalyzed media attention around California's cannabis legalization movement.

Today, Brownie Mary's recipe is lost to history, but her legacy lives on. Thousands of consumers, cannabis chefs, and DIY enthusiasts have tried their hand at whipping up the deliciously infused, chocolatey desserts. Cannabis brownies are almost a right of passage in stoner culture. Read on to learn how to make your own pot brownies at home.

What to know before making weed brownies

As with any rite of passage, horror stories about pot brownie experiences gone awry have proliferated cannabis culture. Here are a few things you should keep in mind before trying your hand at homemade brownies.

Dosage is everything

When it comes to edibles, proper dosage is everything. Depending on the cannabis flower you buy for your butter, one strain can be much more potent than another. Is your weed THC-dominant, more CBD-heavy, or balanced? What is your weed's terpene profile? All these compounds and factors influence the effect your cannabis will have on you, particularly when your digestive system processes it.

Ask your budtender and read your bud's label and lab certificate to get all this information. A low-THC strain will be more suitable for a mellower canna-brownie experience, for example.

Once you've figured out a proper dosage for your canna-butter, use that information to determine how much infused butter to put in your brownie recipe. It's totally fine to mix infused and non-infused butter to keep dosages milder. And remember, some trial-and-error will happen as you experiment, so start low and go slow to find your perfect dose.

Quality matters

The quality of your bud matters, especially when it comes to eating cannabis. While many states require lab testing for adult-use or medical marijuana, not all of them do. If you're infusing your own edibles, source your cannabis from a third-party-tested vendor.

What do you need to make pot brownies?

Recipes for most homemade cannabis brownies include a similar list of ingredients. Here's an easy pot brownie recipe with which to get started in your kitchen:

  • ½ cup of canna-butter OR infused coconut oil
  • Two eggs
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • One teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup of cocoa powder (add more cocoa powder for extra chocolate flavor)
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

You'll also need the following tools for this brownie recipe:

  • an oven
  • 8" square baking pan
  • a large saucepan

Of course, to simplify things, you could purchase a pre-made brownie mix from the store. Sub out the oil or butter called for in the recipe with canna-butter or infused coconut oil.

Whether homemade or store-bought, all pot brownies share a commonality: the addition of infused butter or oil.

How to make cannabutter

Cannabutter is what makes a pot brownie a pot brownie. You can't simply throw your flower into a recipe and call it a day: you must first decarboxylate your weed and infuse it into a high-fat carrier, such as butter. Decarboxylation is the process of THCA turning into THC by way of heating the flower. This process occurs naturally when we smoke or vape weed, but is an essential extra step when creating edibles.

During the cooking process, the butter absorbs the activated THC in the cannabis and makes it ready to add to your recipe.

Making cannabutter isn't tricky, but it takes about 3 hours to cook. It's best to prep your weed butter ahead of actually making your canna-brownies. Try the following recipes to create your own, evenly dosed cannabis butter. You can make cannabutter either on the stove, or in a slow cooker.

crockpot cannabutter pot brownies
It's best to prep your weed butter ahead of actually making your canna-brownies.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

How to make infused coconut oil

Coconut oil is an excellent dairy-free alternative for those who don't like butter or can't eat it due to dietary restrictions.

This infused coconut oil recipe requires a slow-cooker and five hours to make, so this is another infused ingredient you'll want to concoct before it's time to bake your edibles.

How to make weed brownies

Once you've assembled your ingredients and tools, it's time to start baking.

  1. First, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Grease the 8-inch square baking pan to prepare it for the finished cannabis brownie mixture.
  2. Next, melt the 1/2 cup of canna-butter in the large saucepan until it's completely liquefied. If you're substituting infused coconut oil, melt the coconut oil in the saucepan until it is liquid and easily mixed.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the 1 cup sugar, two eggs, and teaspoon of vanilla extract and make sure to mix the infused butter or oil thoroughly. Beat in the 1/3 cup of cocoa powder, the 1/2 cup of flour, 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and baking powder. If desired, you can mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl before adding to the saucepan.
  4. In the above step, it's essential to mix the cannabis butter or oil evenly. This ensures an even spread of cannabis throughout the recipe, which will produce even doses when you cut your brownies into squares.
  5. Pour the cannabis brownie batter into the greased pan, spreading evenly. Place the pan in the oven and allow the mixture to bake for 25-30 minutes. Do not overcook, and remove the pan from the oven when you can insert a toothpick in the brownies and it comes out cleanly.
  6. Remove the cannabis brownies from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan before cutting into equal servings

Voila, your cannabis treats are ready to eat! Make sure to limit yourself to a single portion (or even less) to start and wait two hours before consuming more. While your recipe may be delicious, homemade edibles should be consumed with caution until you determine the proper dose for you.

making pot brownies
While your recipe may be delicious, homemade edibles should be consumed with caution until you determine the proper dose for you.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on September 8, 2020.