The easiest way to flavor your popcorn is after popping. Before popping, popcorn is just corn with small, hard kernels.
Each grain contains water, so heating them to a high enough temperature converts the moisture inside the kernels to steam, building the pressure. Because the outside of the kernel is strong and almost impossible to break, the steam causes the husk to burst, letting the soft flake inside out.
Once the popcorn finishes popping, you can sprinkle, drizzle, or pour your favorite topping and toss it all together with a spatula or your hands until everything is combined and the popcorn is well coated.