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Pot Brownie Bracketology Round 1: Mario Batali vs. Edibles Magazine

March 30, 2016

Welcome to Leafly’s Pot Brownie Bracketology, where March Madness meets reefer madness and we search low and high to discover the absolute best cannabis-infused brownie recipe.

The contenders: Double-Chocolate Pot Brownies (by Mario Batali) vs. 420 Irish Brownies (by Edibles Magazine)

The story: Is Mario Batali out of his mind? That was the hot question in the cannabis community in January, after Batali audaciously honored the Super Bowl-bound Denver Broncos with a recipe for Double-Chocolate Pot Brownies. Savvy commenters immediately cried foul, because Batali’s first foray into edible recipe development skipped what has long been accepted as a critical step: decarboxylating the cannabis to render its THC effective in the final product. High Times called the post “Mario Batali’s embarrassing pot brownie fail,” and argued that “one of the most famous chefs on the planet just advised the world to waste four grams of primo kush on making pretty much bunk brownies.” But we decided to give them a chance at redemption in our pot brownie competition.

As it happened, Batali’s recipe went head to head with a recipe from Edibles Magazine, the strongest edible we included in our contest. While naysayers argued that Batali’s recipe wouldn’t stand a chance, the proof would be in the pudding.


Brownie A: Double Chocolate (Pot) Brownies

Mario Batali's cannabis-infused double chocolate "pot" brownies plated on wood table
Get Mario Batali’s cannabis-infused brownie recipe here

Creator: Mario Batali

Original recipe contains cannabis? Yes (optional)

Why we picked it: The heated discourse surrounding this recipe’s release is what inspired our entire Pot Brownie Bracketology project.

What we liked best: Batali’s moxie. The celeb chef risked angering some members of his audience in posting the recipe. We also appreciate that cannabis is optional, meaning consumers and non-consumers alike can enjoy.

What we liked least: Unearthing stray stems.

Most valuable ingredient: Ground cannabis – it’s what brought national attention to the recipe in the first place. What’s more: Batali’s brownies worked! While they were almost certainly not as potent as they would have been after proper decarboxylation, 22 minutes in the oven at 325˚F was enough to lend a muted potency to the dessert.

Judges’ notes:

“Dark, rich taste…While it doesn’t smell like cannabis, ground shake is not great when it ends up in your teeth.” –Sam Martin, managing editor

“Potency was hardly noticeable. Chewed a stem.” –Lisa Rough, associate editor

“Effects seemed pretty uneven.” –Nick Ouellette, graphic designer

“Kinda tasty.” –Fermin Romero, web developer

Best Pot Brownies: Mario Batali’s Ridiculous Cannabis-Filled Recipe


Brownie B: 420 Irish Brownies

Edibles Magazine's cannabis-infused 420 Irish Brownie plated on wood table
Get Edibles Magazine’s cannabis-infused brownie recipe here

Creator: Edibles Magazine

Original recipe contains cannabis? Yes

Why we picked it: The name of the publication says it all.

What we liked best: The potency after two hours.

What we liked least: The potency after 12 hours…

Most valuable ingredient: Cannabutter. Added at a whopping three stages of the recipe, Batali’s brownies wouldn’t stand a chance against these ones in the potency category even if he flawlessly decarboxylated his cannabis.

Judges’ notes:

“Tasted like eating pure weed butter…extremely potent.” –Nick Ouellette, graphic designer

“Cake-y, lighter texture – almost un-brownie-ish.” –Sam Martin, managing editor

“LOL.” –Bailey Rahn, associate editor

Best Pot Brownies: Edibles Magazine’s 420 Irish Brownie Recipe


Scores (Average of Two Judges):

Mario Batali Edibles Magazine
Appearance 4 4
Aroma 2.5 2
Texture 3 3.5
Flavor 3 4
Potency/Effects 3 4.5
Total 15.5 18

Winner: Edibles Magazine!


Which brownie recipe will Edibles Magazine’s 420 Irish Brownies face in the semi-final competition? Check back later today to find out!

Pot Brownie Bracketology: The Search for the Best Cannabis Brownie Recipe Ever

Note: Dosing homemade edibles can be tricky (click here to learn why), so the best way to test for potency is to start with one portion of a serving, wait one to two hours, then make an informed decision on whether to consume more. Always dose carefully and listen to your body, and never drive under the influence of cannabis.