My friends know I had good intentions when I volunteered to bake some weed cookies for an after-dinner treat; just like I wouldn’t bring frozen lasagna to a pot-luck dinner, I felt that taking a bag of Big Pete’s cookies to our infrequent gathering would be insulting to the top-chef hosts. (But I do like Big Pete’s cookies!)

I often get distracted, and this was no exception. The morning of the party arrived, and the thought of decarbing flower and infusing some cooking oil just added to the stress. My local dispensary doesn’t carry cannabutter – get on it, Apothecarium! – so it was time to get creative.

Freezer stash

I have a jar of 11 Kind Caps in my freezer. Why? Because each capsule has 30 mg. THC, way more than I can manage. (I used to think there was no such thing as a weed hangover, at least until I downed one of these; now I know better.) I froze them so I could cut a capsule in half, without making an oily mess. But I had also considered repurposing them, extracting the oil from the capsules to use in a recipe. My cookie commitment was the perfect catalyst.

Trying to empty the oil from a Kind Cap is not just messy, it’s wasteful. Frozen, the oil doesn’t come out at all. At room temperature, squeezing the capsules produced just a drop or two, with most of the oil covering my fingers. Instead, I poured 2 tablespoons of boiling water on 6 Kind Caps (totaling 180 mg. THC) in a small cup. Almost immediately, the capsules dissolved, their contents dispersing into the water. Since the cookie recipe called for 2 tablespoons of water along with vegetable oil, this should be quite an easy substitution.

I won’t bore you with the results other than to say that the cookies were a big hit; I made 18, so each cookie should have about 10 mg. THC. I tried to mix the batter well enough for relatively good THC distribution, but allowing for some unevenness, along with inevitable variance in cookie size, I’m guessing a cookie’s THC content could range from 7 – 13 mg.

Chemistry 101

We all know oil and water don’t mix; you can add capsule gel as a third component of that equation. After my melted capsules sat for a short time, I noticed that the blackish oil had risen to the top, a thin layer sitting nicely atop clear-looking water. I thought about skimming the oil and discarding the water – but that wasn’t necessary since the recipe called for both oil and water. When I added the liquid to the recipe, I noticed a clear sticky substance at the bottom of the cup – the coagulated gel from the capsules!

Because I used an opaque cup, I couldn’t take good pictures to show the effect. So I repeated the experiment – for science, of course – this time to use in a gummy recipe. I put two capsules in a clear shot glass, added some boiling water, and waited for it to cool. I used a medicine dropper to skim the oil from the top; this worked OK, although I’m sure there are better (less wasteful) methods of finishing the separation.

There should be more cost-effective solutions, but at $55 for 360 mg. THC, the Kind Caps aren’t a bad deal. On top of that, repurposing the almost-forgotten leftover capsules left me feeling pretty good.

Or was that the cookie?

Jack Huxley is a real person with a fake name, a casual cannabis critic, a wanderer who doesn’t mind getting lost.