Arizona Medical Marijuana: The Battle Over "Medibles" and Some DIY Pot Recipes to Try

This week's cover story explores how authorities are trying to limit medical-pot edibles.
This week's cover story explores how authorities are trying to limit medical-pot edibles.
Illustration by Scott Anderson

Medical marijuana-infused "medibles" are big business.

With the 2010 passage of Arizona's Medical Marijuana Act, patients and caregivers have been experimenting with ways to infuse pot into food -- an imprecise and tedious task to be sure. But medical-marijuana kitchens like Uncle Herb's in Payson, one of only two state-approved kitchens in Arizona, are trying to bring some science to the burgeoning market.

Owned and operated by Matt and Tiffany Young, Uncle Herb's specializes in medical-marijuana infused goodies ranging from brownies and cookies to fruit juice and honey. What makes this kitchen's products stand out from typical pot brownies is a contraption they call "Wall-E," which allows for precisely measurable hashish extraction.

Here's an excerpt from this week's cover story about medical-marijuana edibles by Ray Stern:

"[The Youngs] know how much each brownie weighs, how much of the weight is from the cannabis extract, and how many milligrams of THC are in each. Some will have 180 milligrams, others as low as 60 milligrams. Rigorous testing of the concentrate and marijuana ensures proper potency and purity.

"Without such careful measurements, the potency and health benefits of each pot-infused marijuana product -- whether brownie, cookie, or drink -- would be uncertain. That is, there'd be no reliable way to tell whether the product contained too little or too much THC. To establish a high level of professionalism, the Youngs are taking a more scientific approach to medibles than state law requires."

But the story doesn't end there. State authorities are trying to put the kibosh on medical-pot kitchens.

Read more about the battle over "medibles" in Stern's story, "Medical-Pot Edibles Are Legal, but Prosecutors and Cops Aren't Backing Off."

While that battle ensues, you may have to stick with the DIY version, and we have some recipes to share with you!

Check out the next page for the most important pot recipe you'll need in your homemade medibles experiments.


Pot Butter Recipe via Polly Cooper

THINGS YOU WILL NEED: *heavy bottomed saucepan *rubber spatula (do not use wood, or you may loose some thc to the spoon) *1 Stick of UNsalted butter *3.5g (for most, an 1/8) kind bud; medicinal *cheesecloth (found in the baking aisle of most supermarkets) *shallow, wide bowl *plastic bag *a timer/clock *grinder (do not grind your weed in the same grinder as you do your coffee, unless you have removed all the oils and it's spotless)

TIPS: Try to avoid swirling the butter to keep it from sticking to the sides and burning.

Stir every 15 minutes; notice the changes in color, make sure it is a long, slow, heat.

Put your face down and smell it. You should be able to smell the butter and earthiness of the weed, and towards the end it begins smelling nuttier. Beware the burnt popcorn smell. You want to remove it from heat before burnt popcorn has filled your place with stench and failure at having burned your batch. Which is bad. Very bad. But, I have faith in you that your butter will turn out fabulous, darlings.

1. Slowly melt the butter into the pan. Remember to keep on the lowest setting. Use a double boiler if you want to be extra cautious about potentially burning the butter. 2. Grind up your weed ~ SAVE YOUR STEMS! 3. After the butter has melted, pour in the weed. 4. Stir every 15 mins for 1hr 30mins to 1hr 45mins. 5. Before you remove from heat, you should have set up your bowl, covering it with double-layered cheesecloth 6. If you have a friend hanging out, get them to hold the cheesecloth, while you pour into it, over the bowl. BE CAREFUL, the canna butter is hot! If you are all alone, use a rubber band to secure the cheesecloth to the bowl. 7. Take a plastic bag, preferably a turkey bag, and wrap it around the cheesecloth and begin to wring out all the butter into the bowl. Twist and squeeze until not a single drop flows through. Scrape any excess from the plastic into the bowl. 8. Let sit, cool, and form, then wrap with saran wrap and keep it refrigerated. You may also freeze it if you don't plan on using it soon or often.

Find the perfect wake-and-bake recipe on the following page.


Café Mary Jane via Polly Cooper

Coffee. Most people need it when they first wake up -- me included -- or as a midday jolt to help you through the day. I'm sure many of you feel the same, be it with coffee, tea -- or marijuana.

The key to this recipe is figuring out how much marijuana to add to the milk. You don't want want to make more of this mixture than you are going to need, since once you've heated the milk, I would not recommend heating it again the next day, or the day after.

Since a café au laît is simply coffee with steamed milk, if you are preparing this for 1-2 people, keep the dosage low.

*Begin by grinding up 1-2 grams of marijuana

*pour 1/2- 1 cup of whole milk or bréve into a heavy bottom sauce pan

*stir in your marijuana, and keep on a low heat for at least 30 minutes, remember to not let it boil or scald the milk.

*using a fine mesh sieve, strain the marijuana from the milk.

(you can use this marijuana again to make a less potent version of canna butter)

*brew your coffee; fill your mug up halfway with coffee, and the rest with the milk. Add sugar or flavoring to taste.

Now that is the best part of waking up!

Check out the next page for the perfect compliment to your pot-infused coffee.


Cannabis Cinnamon Twist via Polly Cooper

​Yes, you can make marijuana cinnamon twists -- and it's easy. This is one of my favorite recipes because it's made with puff pastry, one of the most versatile and of course delicious things on the planet! . The story behind this recipe is simple: We had to go visit a good friend who had just had hip surgery, we simply had to bring something "good"

By chance, we just happened to have some canna butter lying around, so we decided to make some puff pastry cinnamon twists -- with a twist, of course.

Get the recipe after the jump.

What you will need for this recipe:

2 teaspoons of regular unsalted butter (melted) 3 Tablespoons of Canna Butter (melted) 2 egg yolks 1 Tablespoon of milk 1/3 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground cardamon 1 package of chilled puff pastry, preferably all butter, thaw if frozen. 1.2 cup of your favorite nuts (pecans, walnuts, pistachios, whatever you like)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly butter 2 baking sheets with a small amount of butter (not the canna butter)

In a small bowl, mix together the canna butter and the regular butter until combined.

In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks with the milk.

And yes in yet ANOTHER bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and cardamon.

On a lightly floured work surface roll the puff pastry out into 2 8 x 11 inch rectangles about 1/4 inch thick.

Brush each sheet of puff pastry with the egg and milk mixture, and then sprinkle each with some of the sugar and spice mixture

Sprinkle the crushed nuts evenly over one of the sheets, leave about 1/4 inch around the border.

Place the other sheet, sugar and spice side down on top of the nutty sheet and firmly press around the edges to seal in the goodness.

Brush the top with some (not all) of the canna butter mixture, then sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture. Now using a piza cutter, cut the pastry block into 3/4 inch thick strips, pinch the strips along each side to enclose the mixture inside, and then twist each strip 3 times, ensuring that you have the pinched edges staying together.

Place them well apart on a prepared baking sheet and brush once again with the remaining canna butter/ butter mixture.

Bake in the preheated 400 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden. Remove immediately and allow to cool on wire rack.

Last but not least, find the perfect recipe to celebrate the arrival of the Arizona State Fair on the next page.


Marijuana-Infused Caramel Corn via Polly Cooper

Unless you hate caramel -- or you're vegan -- you are going to love this recipe for canna caramel corn!


1 brown paper bag (grocery bag size) Pan spray 1 bag of popped popcorn, or less than a cup of kernels popped by yourself 1 medium sized bowl 1 stick (8 tbsp) of unsalted butter/canna butter* 1 c brown sugar 1/4 c light corn syrup 1 tsp baking soda

*Depending on how potent you want the caramel corn to be, you will want to adjust the ratio of canna butter to just butter. If you are new to this, perhaps start with the ratio of 1-2 tbsp of canna butter to 6-7 tbsp regular butter. If you are in a lot of pain or have a high tolerance, use anywhere from 4 tbsp up to 8 tbsp, excluding the regular butter.


1. Cut 1/3 from the top of the brown bag; spray heavily inside with pan spray. 2. Cook popcorn per instructions. *any uncooked kernels should be discarded. 3. Dump popcorn in bag. 4. Place brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl, and cook for 2 minutes, or until melted and caramel sauce like; stir in-between. 5. Take out bowl and stir in baking soda. 6. Pour caramel over the popcorn, fold down the bag, and shake until coated evenly. 7. Place bag in microwave and cook for 1 additional minute.

You can enjoy it then, or for the next few days if kept in an airtight container. Or, you can save some of the caramel, pull out some ice cream, drizzle it on, throw a handful of caramel corn on top, and mmmmm, what a great sundae!

See our full series of pot recipes here.

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