California Cannabis Cooks Taste Success In Legalization

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Photo Credit: Henry Drayton

People have been cooking with cannabis for years, but the legalization of weed in California has taken it to a new level. Home cooks are sharing their recipes online and professional chefs are hosting multi-course meals.

Chef Michael Magallanes has worked in some of the top restaurants in San Francisco. But the tasty dish he’s making for us has a “special” ingredient.

Magallanes runs the Opulent Chef. He showed us how he cooks with cannabis.

“This is going to be onion and potato pureed and then I am going to add some cannabis to it to infuse it,” he said.

The legalization of cannabis has opened the kitchen door for cooks like Magallanes.

He showed us a small container with brownish oil.

“This is infused olive oil,” he said.

Cooking with Cannabis isn’t as easy as just tossing some weed into your dish; it takes some math, some science, and patience.

“I used rosin for this,” he said. “Rosin is when you take cannabis – whether it be flowers, trims, whole plant – and you press it between two pieces of metal that are heated.”

From that rosin, he carefully measures out a dosage based on his diners experience with cannabis.

“I’ll know how much I am putting down, just through experimenting on my own,” said Magallanes. “I’ll put a plate onto a scale, and I’ll put puree down, and I’ll say OK that’s 10 milligrams of puree.”

When he’s done you won’t necessarily taste the cannabis, but you’ll feel the effects of it.

Magallanes was already hosting dinners for medical cannabis users. He says his dinner parties are by invitation only, and that he only accepts donations for the meal.

Now he wants to expand under the new law.

According to the San Francisco Department of Cannabis, anyone who accepts money for the sale of pot must have a license. But, there aren’t any specific rules on how to regulate kitchen-based businesses. So many are operating in a gray area while regulators hash out the new rules.

At the Apothecarium in San Francisco’s Marina District, “Canniseurs” say sometimes you don’t even taste the pot other times like wine pot compliments your meal.

“If you are cooking it yourself, you can make it into anything you like,” said Michael Caruso, general manager at The Apothecarium.

“You can turn into a garlic bread for your pasta dish, you can turn it into butter and cook different baked goods with it,” said Caruso. “Roll into some gelatin and make gummies, you can make hard candy out of it.”

Cannabis retailers say a lot of people are looking for new ways to use pot.

And they don’t have to look far the internet is flooded with recipes.

“So if you have cannabis infused into an oil, you can literally use if it for any sort of recipe,” said Monica Lo, cofounder of Sousweed, a website that specialized in cannabis infused recipes.

Lo and Chef Scott Peabody work together on building the website. They prep their cannabis using a sous vide machine, a constant temperature water bath – that evenly infuses cooking oil.

“There’s no aroma from it, it’s all sealed in the bag, so it is very discreet,” said Peabody.

They say cooking cannabis is the best way to get the most out of your bud.

“People think of stale brownies or things like that, baked goods, but we love doing everything we would normally cook,” said Peabody.

From salads to smoothies, they say you can get high or mellow out, just know your dose.

Lo advises, “If you are beginner start very low, 5 to 10 milligrams is a beginner’s dose, you wait about an hour to get the full effects, and then that way you know how much you can tolerate.”

Now there are lots of new ways to have your pot legally, and eat it too.

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