For foodies, there’s always a keen interest in the latest ingredient or flavor trend, and ways to bring fun, unique experiences to the table. More than ever, cannabis is an option for experimental chefs and gourmets–they don’t call it “herb” for nothing. While its dank flavor maybe an acquired taste, with growing global legalization, cannabis as an ingredient in food and beverage is bound to become more common, especially once innovations in recipes and techniques take hold.
Home cooks in legal states can experiment now with cannabis-infused ingredients, specialty kitchen equipment, and recipes developed by cannabis cooks in almost every cuisine–it’s not just about brownies anymore (though there are some awesome recipes for baked treats. #Yum.). DIY edibles also may be the only option for cannabis connoisseurs in some states (and Canada), as well as a more economical choice for edible lovers.
Here’s a short list of eight cannabis-related fun food options that would make great gifts for adventurous chefs and culinary explorers. Whether it’s a posh holiday potluck or a luxe party spread, a buzz-worthy Sunday brunch or intimate dinner-for-two, there have never been more options for cooking at home or dining out:
“Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics” by Warren Bobrow–Available in hardcover or Kindle editions, this book of drink recipes is from acknowledged adult beverage writer Bobrow, also known by his blogger moniker The Cocktail Whisperer. Not just a roster of recipes; Bobrow, whose work has been published in high-end foodie magazines, is also an educator on the topic of tonics and libations. He gives readers historical background on cocktails and cannabis, as well as 75 recipes, ranging from infused coffee cream to pre-dinner aperitifs to warm remedies for winter colds. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “This is not a get high quick, stoner book. It is a thoughtfully-written, well-researched, creative read showcasing delicious healing cocktails that feature alcohol and cannabis.” At Amazon.com.
“The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Feel-Good Food for Home Cooks” by Robyn Griggs Lawrence–“Covering every meal from brunch to late-night cocktails and snacks,” Boulder, CO-based author Lawrence is a knowledgeable cannabis commenter, with one Amazon reviewer that wrote, “This is not just a cookbook; it is a first class primer for the beginner who will find SO much information in the first chapter of the book, simply titled, ‘The Plant.’ Robyn Griggs explains everything you’d want to know about this fascinating plant, how it grows, what all its parts contain.” The cookbook’s forward is by Jane West, co-founder of cannabis industry nonprofit Women Grow and founder of Edible Events Company. At Amazon.com.
Colorado Cannabis Tours Introductory Cooking with Cannabis Class–For residents of and visitors to Denver, award-winning Chef Jarod Farina presents this three-hour class every Sunday for Colorado Cannabis Tours in a industrial kitchen space. Attendees can sample several appetizers and desserts, while learning about micro-dosing and preparation techniques developed by Farina. Vegan and vegetarian diets can be accommodated with a 24-hour advance inquiry. Private cannabis cooking classes are also available through Colorado Cannabis Tours, Mon-Fri, and on select Saturdays. For the ultimate cannabis cooking experience, they also host a Friday night private dinner for the curious and connoisseurs. For more information, visit ColoradoCannabisTours.com.
Hemp Gin–While combining the psychoactive effects of THC with alcohol is a legally controversial area, hemp-derived terpenes can be used like terpenes from any other botanical (e.g. juniper or rosemary) to flavor alcohol and potentially deliver beneficial effects of herbal compounds. Other plants have been used for centuries in concocting traditional spirits like Jagermeister, Campari, and other bitters, often used to aid digestion or enhance appetite. Gin, a clear liquor traditionally flavored with juniper berries, seems a likely candidate for infusion with hemp terpenes. Australia-based producers The Cannabis Co. said hemp-derived Myrcene is added to gin during distillation for flavor plus “joyful and euphoric effects.” The gin’s bouquet was described as “bubblegum, lavender, pine forest, and sage; and soft tones of violet melding with rosemary, resin, cloves, and woody spices.” The inaugural batch of 300 hand-signed bottles released in October sold out in three days. For more information, visit CannabisCo.com.au.
House of Saka Wines–This Napa Valley, CA-based wine label launched in November with the first vintage rosé wines to have alcohol content completely removed; then are blended with a water-soluble CBD/THC infusion using patent-pending technology and a special proprietary process to create this elevated adult beverage. The company’s all-female executive team is focused on high end branding, health and wellness, and the wine-loving women’s demographic. “Wine has been infused with cannabis for as long as we can find in sacred texts throughout history. It is an appropriate time for a luxury line of products at the highest quality to enter the market,” said House of Saka & Saka Wines Founder Cynthia Salarizadeh. Scheduled to hit shelves in the first quarter of 2019, House of Saka wines will be available in California and Nevada. In rosé and sparkling rosé, bottled and also in convenient pop-top cans. For more information, visit HouseOfSaka.com.
LEVO II Herbal Infusion Machine–At-home gourmets will love this appliance that simplifies the processes of decarboxylation (for cannabis) and infusion (for many herbals and botanicals), for use in oils and butter. Not limited to cuisine, the LEVO II can also be used for creating cosmetic and skincare formulas at home. Patented technology creates infusions for dozens of different recipes, without the use of emulsifiers, solvents, or additives. LEVO II is dishwasher-safe and available in five fashion colors including black, white, red, yellow, and turquoise, and comes with deluxe acessories. On-the-go cooks can connect wirelessly with the appliance’s app to monitor and control the infusion process. Maximum batch size is 16-19 ounces. Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery or for more information, visit LEVOoil.com.
Pot D’Huile Infused Olive Oil–Called the “premier solution for culinary professionals and home cooks,” Pot D’Huile oil olive is a lightly infused formulation that also boasts a full array of cannabis-derived terpenes for the full entourage effect. This San Francisco-based specialty oil is created from locally sourced Northern California cannabis and small batch extra virgin olive oil. In some recipes that call for cannabis butter, olive oil can be a good ingredient substitute for Vegan diets, though cooking temperature should be kept below 310 degrees to avoid burning off any THC. Serving suggestion: simply seasoned and served with a great, fresh baked baguette and a favorite wine or beer. More info at PotDHuile.com.
Weed-fed pork–Recently reported on Eater.com, this gourmet experience is available at Portland restaurant Imperial. Chef/owner Vitaly Paley sources cannabis-fed pork from Moto Perpetuo Farms, a family-owned cannabis farm in Forest Grove, Oregon. In the video, farmer Dave Hoyle explains that the pigs on his farm get 25 percent of their diet from leafy branches trimmed from plants, old root balls, and stems that would otherwise be wasted. Not even Vegan, the pigs are plumped and become the pork that is prepared in various delicious-sounding ways, including once at a parking lot “Pot Roast,” which featured suckling pig on a spit. Learn more about farming with cannabis, from Moto Perpetua Farms, or make reservations at ImperialPDX.com.
(Video courtesy of Eater.com)