How to set the Preferred applications on Ubuntu MATE 20.04, for a given user?

On Ubuntu MATE 18.04, I could add and set preferred applications, for a given user, this way:

# Create an application entry

cat > ~/.local/share/applications/browser.desktop << EOF
[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0
Name=My Browser
Comment=Browse the World Wide Web
...
EOF

# Replace the entry in the list of preferred applications

sed -i "1clocation:$HOME/.local/share/applications/browser.desktop" ~/.config/mate-menu/applications.list

# Associate the MIME types

xdg-mime default "browser.desktop" "x-scheme-handler/http"
xdg-mime default "browser.desktop" "x-scheme-handler/https"

The problem is that on 20.04, the two directories don't exist.

I see that there are the global files exist, but I'd still prefer to change for the user only (because the entry created invokes files available for that user only).

If I create the missing directories and the content, there is no effect.

Is this possible?