I Tried Making Pot Brownies While Not High -- And I Don't Recommend It


Don’t be like me. 

I mean, obviously, be yourself (you don’t even know me!), but please heed my tale — for there but for the grace of God go you, fellow edible-enthusiast. 

My wife had recently made some regular, everyday brownies for a friend’s baby shower and there was an extra box of Betty Crocker mix in the pantry. After seeing it there day after day, all I could think about (besides how much I like the taste of brownies) was that full, unused canister of primo Orangeage hybrid sativa that had been slowly drying up in my cupboard. Through some strange fortune, several months earlier I’d been given a ton of free, 1/8 oz. samples of different types of cannabis. Honestly, it was mountains of weed. Hopefully there are no cops reading this -- if you're a cop and you're reading this, I thank you for your service but you have to tell me. Though I’d put forth a valiant effort, I soon realized it was simply too much weed to get through before it turned entirely to dusty, green stones. Having been raised on the credo “Waste not, want not,” the very idea of throwing away a whole jar of perfectly good, if only slightly dry felt like a slap in the face to every college student to ever hang a Sublime poster. After some soul searching and double checking that we had eggs, I knew what I had to do: 

I had to make pot brownies. 

For the planets had aligned. An unused box of four-dollar brownie mix? TOO MUCH weed? I basically had no choice here (okay, officer?). 

First things first, I hopped online and scoured several different recipes. I read all about preparing the cannabis butter, the decarboxylation process, proper dosing, chocolate chip integration — you name it. The one thing I didn’t learn about was, apparently, how dangerous it is to make marijuana brownies while not under the influence of marijuana. How do I know this? Because I was stone-cold sober the entire time and ended up making a series of very stupid mistakes. I’m now convinced that had I smoked just a little beforehand, the Green Goddess would have lovingly guided my hand, protecting me and my brownie children from harm. But instead I chose to go it alone, sober as fuck. Here’s what happened:

As many of you may know, the key to any good marijuana baked good is the cannabis oil, or canna-butter. Infusing your oil of choice (in my case, classic butter) with your ground-up, dried cannabis is a process that takes two to three hours — and we all know that the sober, unaltered mind does not particularly enjoy sitting around and literally watching a pot not boil (you want to keep your butter to a low simmer or else you’ll burn it — which, spoiler alert, I later did). 

About two hours of self-doubt and nervous hand-wringing later, I went to check in on my canna-butter, which, since it was in a small pot, I didn’t think twice about stirring with a small, metal spoon. Small pot, small spoon. It’s that type of linear, uncreative, un-high thinking that fucked me here. I stirred and stirred, removed the spoon, shook off the excess, and, lost in a cloud of sober thoughts, absent-mindedly licked it. Perhaps if I had been more in touch with my body and physical surroundings the way marijuana allows me to be, I wouldn’t have stuck a metal spoon to my lips immediately after pulling it from a cauldron of molten butter that had been simmering on the stove for two hours. You remember that old commercial, “This Is Your Brain On Drugs”? Where the lady cracks the egg-brain into the pan and it begins to sizzle? Well, that was the sound my lower lip made as my woefully drug-free brain decided that this was a good idea. The next step in my brownie recipe was to run my scorched lips under the faucet for several minutes, wondering if perhaps a quick pop-in to the local dispensary for some chocolate-covered blueberries wouldn’t have been a better idea. But I was on a mission, and despite my wounds, I persisted. 

At this point my canna-butter had been simmering for well over two hours, and based on the painful taste I’d taken it seemed pretty damn well infused. However, in the time I spent face-down-ass-up in the sink, the butter seemed to have stopped simmering for some reason. I didn’t want it to congeal (heaven forbid!) so I turned up the heat slightly and left the room for approximately one minute, probably to go find some Blistex. I returned to find a smoldering pot of entirely black canna-butter emitting big plumes of stank-ass smoke — not dank-ass, straight up stank-ass. After opening all the windows in the house and plugging in every fa I could find, I seriously considered pouring the black sludge down the sink and throwing in the towel on this seemingly doomed effort. But, in the spirit of “Waste not, want not,” I persisted.

I moved on to the actual brownie-making phase, which at this point seemed pretty straightforward. After mixing together the brownie mix, eggs and hellish black oil, I tasted the sludge-infused batter (this time licking it off of a nice, room temperature wooden spoon, thank you very much) to assess the damage. Imagine a chocolate-and-burnt-popcorn-flavored pudding parfait with shit sprinkles on top — and, honestly, this was better than I expected. I poured the devil’s diarrhea into a baking pan and popped it in the oven. After soberly staring at the wall for about 20 minutes, I pulled out the pan and — dear God, they actually looked like brownies. 

Now, normally one would let brownies cool before cutting them, but in my nothing-addled brain it seemed like a good idea to cut them immediately (I was also about four hours deep into a process which I had assumed would take the Betty Crocker box time plus maybe twenty minutes, tops, and I just wanted to get this over with). Despite my anxiousness to end this nightmare, I wanted to be a responsible canna-baker and had consulted an online dosage calculator to tell me exactly how many squares to cut in order to achieve potent but manageable THC levels in each brownie. That went out the window pretty quickly when the still-warm, uncuttable brownies crumbled into shapes more closely resembling rejected chicken McNuggets than squares.

So my brownies didn’t smell great, they didn’t look great, and they couldn’t be responsibly doled out to friends without them potentially having to take a day off work afterwards. It was time to finally taste these Godless treats. In sloppily slicing them I’d created many big, chunky crumbs, which (again, in the spirit of “waste not, want not”) I cleaned up by eating myself. They weren’t terrible, but they certainly weren’t good either. At least not in the taste department. I’d gotten pretty hungry at this point though so I ate some more of those big, stray chunks. Then some more. 

About an hour later, I suddenly felt much better about my brownies.

And I’ve learned from my mistakes. Never again will not be high when making pot brownies, and I can confidently say that below is the CORRECT recipe.

How to Make Amazing Pot Brownies

  1. Get fucking stoned (to taste)
  2. Locate recipe for cannabutter online
  3. Locate brownie recipe on side of Betty Crocker (or in an emergency, Duncan Hines) box 
  4. Follow above recipes
  5. Continue to smoke weed to maintain high mentioned in step 1 
  6. Enjoy