The 2016 elections marked the final tipping point of accepted recreational cannabis use in the United States. Now, out of 50 states, more have now transitioned to some degree of medical or recreational cannabis use. This has brought cannabis culture to the forefront of society, the economy, and even the kitchen.
Now that cannabis has expanded to recreational use in Colorado, Washington, and California, many products like edibles, beverages, and actual brick and mortar restaurants have started to gain exposure, bringing cannabis-infused cuisine to the public for the first time. Even television shows like Bong Appetite on Viceland, showcase how far you can push the limits of cannabis infusion into dishes of every culture.
As many people are beginning to explore their curiosity of cannabis, thanks in part to newly adopted regulation, there are incredible things being created, and most importantly, it all looks delicious. So, if the uncharted world of cannabis-infused dishes has piqued your curiosity, here are a few dishes you can sink your teeth into, and a few that might give you the inspiration to legally create your own.
Seared Bone-In Rib Eye With a Garlic-Herb Canna-Compound Butter
Well-known canna-chef Melissa Parks, who recently authored the cookbook Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking Cannabis, showcases many different infusion concepts from the advanced to simplistic. In an interview with VICE, Parks explained that as a chef she wanted to take her talents to the next level, and in doing so, the inspiration for her cookbook came to fruition. While this seared bone-in rib eye with garlic-herb canna-compound butter might seem daunting, it’s quite easy. One cup cannabutter, which can be purchased at a dispensary or made at home with the right ingredients and a quick YouTube tutorial, is featured in the recipe.
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Canna-compound butter should top steaks right before serving. Enjoy!
In 2015, Robyn Griggs Lawrence made a name for herself after her highly acclaimed cannabis cookbook hit shelves. The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook features Lawrence's recipes, like cannabis and other extremely intricate recipes like seared Wagyu New York Strip with cannabis rub, that can be made on your own. Lawrence also includes simple recipes for cannabis-infused butter and 20 minute olive oil that serves six to eight people, with a THC per serving scale of 10 milligrams.
2 pounds firm, fresh red snapper fillets (or other firm- fleshed fish), completely deboned and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1⁄2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1⁄2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1⁄4 cup cannabis-infused olive oil
1⁄2 red onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh seeded tomatoes, chopped
1 serrano chili, seeded and finely diced
2 teaspoons salt
dash ground oregano
dash Tabasco or light pinch cayenne pepper.
The cloud of legalized cannabis has been floating over Colorado since 2012, with medical shops opening in Colorado in 2000. With lenient laws regarding consumption, the public’s curiosity has shifted to seeking out more cannabis-based experiences, especially in the form of fine dining. In 2009, Boulder-based sushi restaurant Hapa Sushi started a weed-pairing and sushi menu that became a model for the next frontier of canna-cuisine. Hapa encouraged people to come in and smoke, relax, and eat, while providing a suggestive pairing menu that included: Honey Miso Salmon with Sour OG or Pakalolo Shrimp, paired with Pakistani Kush.
Super Lemon Haze Olive Oil and Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Cannabis chef Jessica Catalano, author of Ganja Kitchen Revolution, invited Viceland's Bong Appetit to join her at her home to learn more on how food can be infused with THC and, more importantly, how it can be done naturally and organically. Catalano demonstrated how to create THC-infused olive oil, a new pantry essential that can elevate any dish.
Carrot Confit Gnocchi with Cannabis-Infused Pea Emulsion
At 23, chef Chris Sayegh, aka the Herbal Chef on Instagram, has become a well-known private chef that hosts $500-per-plate canna-dinners. Sayegh has appeared on Vice’s Bong Appetit and has clearly carved out a new niche as the public begins to accept cannabis cuisine as a safe and acceptable way to experience something exotic. Attendees can taste dishes like carrot confit gnocchi with cannabis-infused pea emulsion, followed by New York strip steak with parsnip puree and a "medicated" red wine reduction, according to Reuters. The finale: a sticky toffee pudding with toasted coconut and pot-infused chocolate. In a recent interview with Reuters, Sayegh explained his vision for his weed-themed pop up dinners. “You're eating with a different perception with each bite, with each course. You're literally changing your brain chemistry and you are viewing this food differently than you did five minutes ago, 10 minutes ago."
Cannabutter-Basted Beef cheek, Weed-Smoked Tuna, With Pot Leaf Juice Dippin Dots
Chef Marcel Vigneron was the host-chef on the debut episode of Viceland’s Bong Appetit. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s worth watching. The public got its first look at what it takes to cook a multi-course cannabis-infused dinner. Chef Vigneron used cannabis oil to rub a whole tuna, then by using a tobacco smoker, used cannabis flowers to give it a nice coating of smoke.
Cannabis Chocolatier Vanessa Lavorato started the company Marigold Sweets, a Los Angeles-based company that has been producing sweet, chocolatey medicine since 2010. Now one of the main hosts of Viceland’s Bong Appetit, Lavorato’s become a household name. These days her $36 box of gourmet cannabis-infused chocolates are considered high-end in Los Angeles area dispensaries. Marigold Sweets feature different lines of cannabis confiserie, like the Fleur De sel Caramel; an organic, handmade, dark chocolate with notes of vanilla bean.
Created by former Apple employees, Defonce Chocolatier is one of the premier edibles on the market right now. With an array of delicious flavors like vanilla, matcha, and milk chocolate, Defonce has perfected a dosing technique that will allow users to indulge without the fear of over-medicating. By dividing each bar in 18 parts, each section of one chocolate bar is designed to provide 10mg of THC to the user. Leave it to former Apple employees to invent a way to leave the guesswork out of getting stoned.