Move over, cannabutter. Weed-infused coconut oil packs the potency without the animal fat for plant-based edibles. Nearly pure fat, coconut oil effortlessly binds to the cannabinoids in weed and has a higher smoke point than some other oils. Use refined coconut oil for a more neutral flavor. Unlike butter, which contains water, coconut oil can be heated above boiling (212°F) for a faster infusion. And once infused, this oil can slip into any baking recipe. Beyond coconut, this technique works with any neutral oil, from vegetable to grapeseed.
For a more or less potent oil, use more or less cannabis flower, then calculate the dose. As with all edibles, dosing is tricky, since there is always loss during the decarboxylation, infusion, and cooking processes. Assuming the flower contains 20 percent THC after decarboxylation and infusion (calculating a 20 percent loss), this oil doses at 160 milligrams for ⅓ cup of oil, or 30 milligrams per tablespoon. (Some oil loss occurs in the process, so ½ cup of oil typically turns into ⅓ cup.) To calculate the individual dose of a recipe, divide the THC in the amount of coconut oil used by the final yield. For example, a cake calling for ⅓ cup of oil, yielding 24 servings, will land just below 7 milligrams of THC per piece.
To use hash, follow the same method of decarboxylation, but use less—hash tests upwards of 40 percent THC—and simply whisk the activated hash into the warm oil. To achieve the same potency at 40 percent, you’d want to use ½ gram of hash. Dry-sift hash works better in the kitchen than pressed. For distillate, weigh out ⅕ gram of distillate on parchment, then place in the freezer to harden, so you can easily add it to the warm oil; whisk to fully homogenize. Distillate potency ranges from 70 to 90 percent THC and comes fully activated. At 80 percent THC, ⅕ gram of distillate translates to 160 milligrams of THC. —Vanessa Lavorato
Test Kitchen Notes
If you're considering enjoying this recipe, please consult and follow the legal restrictions for controlled substances where you live. Because there are so many variables with homemade edibles, go slowly. You may want to start with half a serving and determine your tolerance and ideal dose from there. And always wait a couple hours to feel the effects. —The Editors
- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 45 minutes
- makes ⅓ cup (160 milligrams THC total; 30 milligrams THC per tablespoon)
neutral oil (such as refined coconut, vegetable, canola, or grapeseed)
- Heat the oven to 245°F.
- Break up the flower into smaller pieces using your hands to expose more surface area to the heat; the pieces should break off like florets of broccoli.
- Bundle the broken-up flowers in parchment. Wrap this parchment pouch in foil or place it in an airtight, oven-safe silicone bag (I use Stasher). Place in a small baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. (After 20 minutes, roughly 70% of the THCA will be converted to THC; after 30 minutes, 80%. If this is your first time making edibles, I’d recommend a cook time that’s on the lower end of the range.)
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and let the flowers cool at room temperature.
- Using a grinder, grind the decarboxylated, cooled flowers. (You can also chop by hand with a knife and cutting board.) They should be ground to medium-coarse—like coffee, not espresso. Use the decarbed, ground cannabis right away.
- To a small saucepan (or a DIY double boiler—a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water), combine the decarboxylated, ground weed and the oil. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Using a candy or instant-read thermometer, make sure the oil temperature doesn’t exceed 245°F.
- Set a fine-mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl. Pour the infused oil into the strainer and use a spoon to press on the solids to extract as much oil as possible. Let cool fully and use immediately. Coconut oil goes rancid, especially when infused with organic materials, so use quickly or store in the fridge for up to a month.