On the day before the most important marijuana-related holiday, 4/20, we thought it would be appropriate to look at some of the best cookbooks that utilize the sticky icky in their recipes. Whether or not you’re a budding chef, these books will both satiate and give you the munchies. The thing about cooking with weed — you may or may not be surprised by this — is that it’s about more than just brownies. Chefs around the country (and around the world) have used cannabis to take the flavor profiles of various dishes (from salad dressings to desserts) higher, if you will.
Remember: Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, and has been decriminalized in some states but not others. Though CBD has generally been accepted.
Bong Appétit by the Editors of Munchies
Apart from having the most clever name of any cannabis cookbook, Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed is also the smartest of weed anthologies. A sophisticated guide for refined dishes (hello, rib eye with weed chimichurri), you’ll also find downright timeless recipes for foods that always sound delicious (French bread pizza, spinach and artichoke dip risotto, and raspberry and peach pie). Add to the educative mix a ditty about how to buy the right kush for cooking and a bit of marijuana politics chit-chat around the still-somewhat-taboo subject. After all, the book was inspired by a TV show by Vice.
Edibles by Stephanie Hua
The funny thing about edibles is they (can) mess you up real good. For the foodie who dabbles in a spliff every now and then (as opposed to heavy-hit vaping) check out Edibles: Small Bites for the Modern Cannabis Kitchen for bite-size cannabis noshes that are low-dose. In other words, the creations and tastes take priority over the high. If you’re a newbie around the kitchen, make Spiced Superfood Truffles. An expert? Whip up Strawberry Jam Pavlovas. Multi-level and dose-conscious, this cannabis cookbook is also oddly perfect to share with mom and grandma (come on, we all know they toke).
Cooking With Cannabis by Laurie Wolf
When The New Yorker called Laurie Wolf “The Martha Stewart of Marijuana,” they were doing so with the utmost praise. (Although isn’t Martha Stewart herself the Martha Stewart of marijuana?) Wolf’s 70 weed recipes in Cooking With Cannabis: Delicious Recipes for Edibles and Everyday Favorites are wholesome, soulful, and upscale enough to find at a five-star restaurant. Skipping the goofy cannabis slang, quotes, and puns (she’s better than us), this cookbook does an amazing job at calling out the benefits of marijuana for treating or relieving the symptoms of illnesses like cancer, anxiety, and depression. In that, Wolf elaborates on various strains of marijuana and even offers freezing tips.
Sweet Mary Jane by Karin Lazarus
On the other side of Manhattan, New York Magazine was dubbing Karin Lazarus “The Martha Stewart of weed baking,” with her high-end dank dessert recipes from Sweet Mary Jane: 75 Delicious Cannabis-Infused High-End Desserts. We don’t care how many Marijuana Marthas there are, as long as we can try every sugary tart, cupcake, sorbet, pudding, truffle, and pastry on the block. These 75 recipes taken from Lazarus’ bakery in Boulder, Colorado, call for premium medical-grade marijuana and beg to be served at your next ritzy dinner party. For now, we’ll dub her the Betty Crocker of Marijuana (don’t want to confuse the stoners) and tease you with the promise of making THC-infused sugar for Smashing Pumpkin White Chocolate-Pumpkin Bars.
Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics by Warren Bobrow
If your kitchen utensils consist of a shaker, muddler, and bar spoon, whip up some cannabis cocktails with the straightforwardly named recipe book: Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics. Author Warren Bobrow walks through the totally cool and geeky process of de-carbing cannabis to release its psychoactive effect while laying down the history of cannabis as a social drug. The name of this cannabis cookbook should have been: How to drink cannabis for every meal, since it includes coffee, tea, lemonade, mood-enhancing syrups, and — of course — cocktails.
Baked: Over 50 Tasty Marijuana Treats by Yzabetta Sativa
The predecessor of cookbook Baked 2, the original installment is a great place to begin cooking with cannabis because it’s completely honest about the herb in question. Marijuana is a spicy, harsh-tasting plant that is difficult to cook with because of its flakey consistency and inability to dissolve in water. Alas, chef Yzabetta Sativa (that has to be a fake last name), is here to teach you how to counteract the negative qualities of that good sensimilla and bake marijuana treats like Lavender Love Bites, Aloha Hawaiian Bread, and Baked Fudge.
The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook
If you’re already paranoid about wasting good chronic by burning the magic butter, look to the pros at High Times to get you through. If anyone knows how to get baked while baking, it’s this band of stoners. Appetizers, entrees, desserts, cocktails, and even holiday feasts, all in a demystified, simple language that turns you into a budding chef … get it? Some recipes in The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook: More Than 50 Irresistible Recipes That Will Get You High are even inspired by celebrity stoners like Snoop and Willie Nelson.
Article originally published March 28, 2019.