Get the details on how to make pot brownies. Pictured: An infused brownie made by Ganja Gourmet in Denver. (Denver Post file)

How to make pot brownies the easy way: a beginner’s guide to edibles

Everything you need to know about making special brownies

Got some weed on hand that you’d rather not smoke (for whatever reason), but you don’t want it to go to waste? Always been curious about making your own edibles, but you’re not much of a chef? No problem. Here’s how to make pot brownies simply, using a store-bought mix.

If you’re wondering about just sprinkling your bag of herb into the batter, don’t go there. You’ll end up with an unappetizing, green-flecked and weedy-tasting brownie of unknown potency. Why not make it worth your effort?

The one crucial ingredient you’ll need on hand before you tear open that brownie mix is cannabutter or canna-oil. To get you on your way, we’ve put together some resources you’ll find useful if you’re not a master baker (sorry, love that old gag). Here’s how to make special brownies:

1) Start with a batch of cannabutter (or canna-oil).

Oregon-based edibles chef Laurie Wolf, who has contributed dozens of infused recipes to The Cannabist, has dialed it down to seven steps for what she calls “the best cannabutter in America.”

While many prefer to have cannabutter on hand, canna-oil is the other option. But should it be made with canola, olive, coconut or another type of oil?

If your box recipe calls for vegetable oil and all you have is cannabutter, not to worry — just use an equivalent amount of softened cannabutter. According to a FAQ, they’re interchangeable, just know that “using butter or margarine will make your brownies slightly richer with a bit of ‘dairy’ taste.”

2) What should the serving size be?

Ah, the thrill of using math in real life. There is a formula for figuring out the approximate THC potency for your brownies. Our Ask The Cannabist columnist has a rundown from Colorado edibles chef and author Jessica Catalano. Get out your scratch paper and calculator! Consider figuring out the potency of the cannabutter you’re starting with and keep your calculations on hand for future use. Or you can figure out dosage for each recipe, whether it’s brownies or cookies, or something on the savory side.

3) What about the effects?

If this is your first foray into eating edibles as well as making them, learn about what to expect, and why it’s important to be patient, grasshopper. For those unfamiliar with regulations in legalized states, the Colorado-mandated dosage for commercial edibles is 10 milligrams of THC per serving. If you’re a seasoned smoker, don’t assume a big slab of chocolatey goodness is the best way to start.

Got other edibles questions? Let us know in the comments below.

Cannabis resources

Raise your brownie game: Want to cook up something more intense? Check out the video recipe for these triple-chocolate brownies made from scratch and topped with nuts and white chocolate

Using BHO in edibles: Tips on using butane hash oil in the kitchen, and a how-to guide for calculating THC potency and serving size for edibles

Homemade cannabutter “leftovers”: After the plant material is strained from a batch of cannabutter, can that green goo be used for anything else?

Ask The Cannabist: Readers send us all sorts of weed questions — health, legal, Colorado-centric, just curious — and we have answers.
Have a question? Send us an email: askthe

Vaporizer reviews: What makes for a good vape? Get details on products from Grenco Science, Pax, Firefly, Herbalizer, Kandypens, Zema, Pinnacle and many more

Strain reviews: Check out our marijuana reviews organized by type — sativas and sativa-dominant hybrids, ditto with indicas

Favorite strains: 25 ranked reviews from our marijuana critics