For a lot of us, eating marijuana has long been about function over flavour. Pot brownies are great because the intense flavour hides the distinctly grassy taste, and they can be smuggled to places where cannabis isnt welcome.
But with legalization at our door, we are seeing an emergence of cannabis as a cooking ingredient in more refined fare; may we present, the “elevated” dining experiencesometimes hosted in clandestine lounges, sometimes in pop-up form and most definitely in chic private homes.
Gourmet cooks see cannabis as a healing element, an entertainment sidekick and a challenge: the trick is to titrate it properly throughout a meal and make sure the hashy taste does not interfere with their cooking mastery. The aromatic terpenes in cannabis, which can be flowery, spicy, earthy and a host of other flavours, help to guide chefs toward their desired taste and effect. Cannabis may be a traditional seasoning, but adding it in, even to the tune of 10mg per meal, is part of a much more significant experience.
Since THC is fat soluble, cannabis-infused dishes typically begin by infusing the plant into fatty ingredients like butter, oil and honey, which can then be deployed in curries, pasta sauces, cookies and so on. But cannabis leaves can be juiced to produce an anti-oxidant rich emerald green liquid that will not get you high (unless, maybe, it’s cooked).
Its too early to know whether high-end cannabis cuisine will become more than a novelty. In Canada at least, restaurants cant incorporate cannabis into their dishes, but private dinners are fair game, complete with cannabis-infused dishes, smokable accompaniments, curated music and attractive locales.
In the future, we can expect that easier access to weed will no doubt inspire more amateur chefs to whip up some psychoactive specialties.