In essence, you set the camera to multi-meter, and then spot meter a few different places by pressing AEL. The camera averages these points and determines an exposure.
Point the autofocus target at the shadows, press AEL. Point it at the highlights, press AEL. Do as many of these as you want (up to 8). The camera will come up with an average setting for all these spots. It's sort of like being hand-held while zone metering.
If you press the AEL button for longer than a second, this setting will be in memory. The setting won't survive a mode change or power cycle, however. But you can take a note of the exposure the camera came up with and just use that in Manual mode. If you're happy with it.
Make that setting a MyMode and you can retrieve it at any time.