Cooking with cannabis is one of my favorite hobbies. However, that doesn’t mean it is a task without difficulty. There is a lot of research and patience (also some trial and error) that go into creating potent and delicious cannabis cuisine. One of the best and most potent ways I’ve found to infuse foods of all kinds, from sweet to savory my all-time favorite cooking with cannabis companion is kief. What is kief exactly? Kief are the tiny, glittery crystals that fall loosely off of the plant when it’s handled. Kief is rich in terpenes, which are an organic compound that provide the distinct aroma and flavor unique to each cannabis plant. I’m not a hugefan of tasting cannabis in my food, so for me the light flavor from the terpenes in the kief that can be paired with whatever I’m cooking is the perfect solution for me. This is what makes kief such a great cooking companion. You can build your recipes around the terpene profile of the cannabis strain that you choose.
Whether basting a chicken, baking cookies, or just slathering a bit on some freshly baked bread there are few things in life that aren’t improved by a pat of butter. But butter doesn’t have to be just tasty – Butter can also be infused with cannabis to serve as the basis for a wide range of edibles.
If you have a stash of kief hanging around and are looking for something new to try, our recipe & technique for making kief-infused butter at home will be right up your alley. We have both a simple and a more advanced kief butter recipe below, so let’s dig right in.
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What is Kief Butter?
Kief butter is, appropriately, butter that has been infused with kief – The loose, crystal-like powder collected from the outside of the cannabis bud. The little sparkling bits of resin and trichomes you see on a bud that make it look frosted and glittery? Once broken away from the flower, that’s kief.
Before you go dumping your grinder’s kief collector onto a stick of butter know this: Kief, in it’s raw form, will not get you high. Like all cannabis, kief must be “decarboxylated” or “decarbed” before it is ready for consumption – This means weed needs to be exposed to high heat over a period of time before the THC within becomes “activated” (which is actually the THCA turning into THC; check out our linked article for more details).
This means that just pouring a spoonful of kief into some melted butter will not get you high, and though there may be some benefits from eating raw THCA psychoactivity is emphatically not one of them. Unless your kief is decarbed first, there’s no infusion or baking process in the world that will get you lifted.
To Decarboxylate Kief
- Preheat the oven to 260F.
- Place kief in an oven-safe container and cover tightly with lid or tinfoil.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before removing the cover.
- ** This same method can be applied to decarb wax, shatter, or hash oil. 15 minutes per gram. Adjust as your oven temp could vary as much as 25 degrees either way.
- Place butter into the sauce pan and heat over medium-low heat until completely melted. You don’t want to boil your butter, but you do want hot.
- ** Personal Preference (optional): Skim as much of the white foam from the top until it stops frothing up.
- Add the decarbed kief and stir until it is fully dissolved into the butter. Remove from heat once kief is fully dissolved.
- Gently pour kief butter into silicon molds or ice cube trays. They can be frozen for freshness.
- Pro Tip: Use silicon cupcake liners. Each one is ¼ cup which makes measuring easy. The butter will also easily pop right out of the liners and you can reuse them forever!
- The butter stays good for up to 6 months in the freezer. This butter is great because it can be used in a wide variety of ways. It can be added as a spread, added to any variety of dishes or baked into any low heat food preparations (stay below 250F).
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with recipes. Cooking with cannabis is supposed to be a fun experience and will always at the very least prove to be a learning experience. Stay lifted, until next time!
- Always remember to consume responsibly.
Decarbing kief can be a bit tricky, given it’s loose, powdery nature; unlike denser marijuana buds kief is prone to burning, and doesn’t take as long to reach the needed temperature (and swiftly surpass it) than actual ground up flower. We go over decarbing in detail in our “3 Best Ways to Decarb Your Weed” article but the basic idea is to “toast” your kief in an oven as follows:
Step #1: Preheat your oven at 230°F
Step #2: Spread your kief over a parchment-lined baking tray in a thin, even layer
Step #3: Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally; keep an eye on it, and if it starts to look too brown in color remove it from the oven immediately
Now that your kief has been decarbed it’s now ready to be infused.
Kief Butter, The Quick Way
To make a quick kief-infused cannabutter you’ll need the following:
- A double boiler
- A coffee filter or cloth sachet (optional)
The kief-to-butter ratio you want to use depends on how strong you want your end infusion to be, but we don’t recommend going any stronger than 5 to 6 grams of kief per cup of butter.
To get started, place your double boiler setup onto the stove top with your butter in the top. Let it melt over gentle heat, and then add your kief and stir. If you’d like, you can place your kief into a small, tied cloth sachet first (the same as the ones used for herb bundles), to prevent the need to strain after your steep is completed.
Steep Low & Slow
From here let your kief soak into your butter for, really, however long you’d like – Anything from 2 to 4 hours should be enough, though. Note that your kief has not dissolved into the butter; plant matter simply won’t.
If you’d like to filter your kief away from your butter pour the solution into a container, such as a mason jar covered by a coffee filter. Straining isn’t strictly necessary but can improve the overall taste and texture of items you make with your newly-infused butter.
After straining squeeze any remaining butter out of your kief and save it, either to be eaten on its own or run through another (likely weaker) infusion. Place your cannabutter into the refrigerator and tada – You are done. You can now use your kief butter in any number of recipes where regular butter is called for: Baking, basting, sauteing – The world is yours.