I absolutely agree. In English, the verb 'put' requires not only a direct object, but also some indication of place. You can't just say 'I put something,' you must add something like 'in / on / somewhere ....'
"I put a lot of butter" is neither grammatically nor conversationally/colloquially correct. You either need to make it intransitive ("I put in a lot of butter") or define the object in transitive form ("I put a lot of butter on my toast").