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Ask a Stoner: Is cooking with pot easy?

Dear Stoner: I really enjoy eating my cannabis to help deal with chronic muscle and nerve pain, but the price of edibles is starting to put a dent in my bank account. I've never made my own pot food. Is it easy to do? What about finding marijuana to cook with? My wallet and I would appreciate any help on this.

Mr. Munchies

Dear Munchies: We feel your pain, and we know how much eating cannabis can help it. Thankfully, the only thing you really need to know is how to infuse butter or oil with cannabis. If you're a medical-marijuana patient and have a caregiver, then the easiest thing to do is to ask for leftover trim. Most caregivers would be happy to give you some of their waste, provided you bring them some baked goods in return. If you don't have a caregiver, there are plenty of dispensaries that sell trim and shake for $60 an ounce or less. If that doesn't work, Craigslist would probably be a good (though quasi-legal) place to find some.

The basic method for making cooking oil is to simmer about six grams of cannabis in four ounces of oil for about thirty minutes. Strain out the herb when you're done, and you've got some potent cooking oil. Butter is slightly trickier, but works on the same principle. Boil a pan of water and drop in a stick of butter and up to a quarter-ounce of herb or trim, let the butter/water/herb concoction simmer for about an hour, and then pour it through a metal strainer into a clean bowl to separate the plant material. Place that bowl in the fridge overnight, and the cannabis-infused butter will separate from the water. You can drain any excess water by squeezing the butter in cheesecloth.

The rest is as easy as following cookbook directions and substituting non-infused ingredients with your infused ones. Remember, potency can vary from batch to batch, so be careful and pace yourself until you know just how baked your baked goods will get you.

Dear Stoner: In your recent column about movies, you forgot that TV shows can be in the "stoner flick" genre as well. Probably the ultimate stoner TV is "The Big High," a 1968 Dragnet episode. Pure pot paranoia at its best, complete with two stoned parents accidentally drowning their baby in a bathtub during a "pot party." Just wanted to point that out to you and your readers.

Smokin' Sam

Dear Sam: Thanks for the reminder on a classic bit of reefer-madness propaganda.

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