Whether basting a chicken, baking cookies or just slathering a bit on some freshly baked bread, few things in life 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.
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 its 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.
How Do I Decarb Kief?
Decarbing kief can be a bit tricky, given its loose, powdery nature; unlike denser marijuana buds, kief is prone to burn 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.
Making Kief Butter, Two Ways
There are two ways you can make kief butter: The Quick Way and The Tastier Way.
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 set up onto the stovetop with your butter in the top. Let it melt over a 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, like 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. Next, 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.
Kief Butter, The Tastier Way
If you want to get serious about your cannabis-infused butter, there’s no better way than to start from scratch. And by that, we mean making your own butter at home.
Making your own butter is a surprisingly easy, simple recipe that few people ever think to try, even though it requires very little prep time. In truth, making butter (cannabis or no) at home is literally no different from making whipped cream, only with a few more minutes involved. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Cream; quality matters here so try to buy the best you can
- A mixer, either hand or stand; an old school egg beater will also work, and so will a whisk if you’re an arm wrestling champion or something, but for most individuals we recommend an electric device for this process
- Salt (optional)
- A double boiler
- Filtration; either coffee filter or a sachet
To make butter, take your cream and place it into either the bowl of your stand mixer or a wide, relatively flat bowl you can comfortably keep in one place (the more surface area available, the better).
Turn your mixer on and let it work its magic. You’ll first arrive at whipped cream, with stiff peaks forming along the top and around the edges of the bowl. Though tempting to stop here, you’ll need to keep going until the cream begins to separate into defined curds, leaving the white buttermilk liquid behind. Keep mixing until the butter has formed into a mostly solid lump, with plenty of liquid left in the pan.
Kneading Your Butter
Take your butter lump and either discard the buttermilk or reserve it for other uses. First, rinse your butter underneath cold water, then plunge it into a bath of water and ice. From here, we recommend using your hands to knead it like dough underneath the ice water. You’ll notice the water turning cloudy after a while; this is extra buttermilk being pushed out of the butterfat, which will help it keep a longer shelf life.
After doing this for a few minutes, take your butter out of the ice and pat it dry with a paper towel – If you’d like a pinch of salt, feel free to quickly knead it in now, or leave it out if you prefer unsalted butter.
From here, the directions are exactly the same as in the Quick Way method: Double boiler, low heat, steep for 2-4 hours, strain if you want. Congratulations, you now have cannabis butter made from scratch, with a taste that will be hard to beat.
Is this as quick as the Quick Way method? No (hence the difference in names). But do we think it’s worth it? Absolutely. The taste of fresh, homemade butter is incomparable to the stuff bought off of the shelf, and particularly if you plan on using this butter more as a spread than an ingredient, we feel the extra time is worth it for the improvement in taste. Of course, if you’re feeling particularly froggy, you could even try experimenting with cultured butter, but as culinary guru Alton Brown would say, that’s another show (or article, in our case).
What Do I Do With Kief Butter?
Anything you want. Kief butter is good for literally any purposes regular butter would be, and the possibilities are endless. If you’re looking for some more concrete ideas on the topic, make sure to check out our article “What to Do With Kief” for tips, recipe ideas for cooking with cannabis, and much more.
And remember: Any infusion you make with kief can also be made with hash, hash oil, and other concentrates. So don’t be afraid to experiment. Just remember that your concentrate must be decarbed before use as a cooking ingredient.
Butter is delicious, and butter that can get you high is both delicious and delightful. We hope you’ve enjoyed our overview on how kief butter is made; enjoy!