I’ve been making cannabis-infused edibles for friends and patients for 25 years, and it’s always brought me great happiness to hear about how they provide pleasure and relief from a host of ailments. (Unless the treats are consumed in greater-than-recommended doses, in which case it’s a waking nightmare playing at half speed while the user experiences a paranoid silent scream of death on repeat, but, you know, that’s gonna happen. Did I say only eat half of one? Yes, I did. And did you eat four instead? Yes, portion-control-challenged ’murican, you did.)
The downside of this work is that infusing the oils and butters with cannabis makes my house smell like I have set fire to a cubic yard of sweaty gym clothes dipped in three-week-old sulfur-pellet cat litter. Clean up is a major drag, too—time consuming and messy.
My cooking process takes days and needs to be minded like a 12-year-old with pyromaniac tendencies. The straining of gallons of simmering oil and water mixed with a pound or more of cannabis trim is why I have patches on my hands that look like I’m a clumsy steel mill worker with depth perception issues.
So I was intrigued when I received the MagicalButter machine (magicalbutter.com), which is a true game changer for anyone seeking to make cannabis-infused butter, oils, tinctures, and topicals. It’s about the size and shape of a one-gallon old-school coffee percolator, with a stainless steel finish and black-accented handle and top. The lid comes off to reveal a mixing blade and digital temperature gauge and sensors. It’s a solidly built piece of machinery, with a heft that belies its size.
Operating it is so simple, a child could do it (but it’s a machine you use to make weed butter, so I have to question your decision-making skills if you do let a child near it). Add your plant material—let’s say, I don’t know, some pot—and cover it completely in the fat of your choice, or glycerin if you’re making tincture. Select your temperature, ranging from “no heat” to 220 Fahrenheit, and then choose a brewing time of one, two, four, or eight hours.
That’s it. Go live your life for a while, or what passes for a life, because the machine doesn’t need you to do anything until it’s done. At timed intervals, the machine quietly turns on the mixing blade for 30 seconds or so, but aside from that, it sits silently doing its thing. You can make between two and five cups of finished product per cycle, more than enough for most home cooks.
Once done, pull the top off, and using the enclosed silicone glove and 190 micron nylon filter, pour the liquid and plant matter through. Clean up involves a drop of dish soap and filling the unit with water, then hitting the “blend/clean” button.
I called the 1-800 support number my first time using it, and asked just how much cannabis I could shove in there. The customer service rep I spoke with said that as long as the “plant material” was fully submerged in liquid of no more than five cups, it was up to me.
The lid fits tightly enough that unless I was standing next to the device, I couldn’t smell anything.
How much did the finished product vary from my normal manner of preparation, consisting of water, fat and cannabis? Because my method washes away much of the chlorophyll and taste of the cannabis, the MagicalButter machine produced an oil that was darker in color with a more pronounced weed taste. The cookies I made had a darker green coloring to them, and the cannabis taste was more noticeable, but by no means unpleasant. I haven’t made a tincture or topical yet, but that’s next on deck.
The machine retails for about $180, although I easily found discount codes online for $30 off. The box states that the warranty is void if you purchase through Amazon or eBay, so if you pull the trigger, you may want to make sure to buy directly from the website (magicalbutter.com).