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Welcome to Bonnie’s Kitchen, where weed is what’s for dinner – Detroit Free Press

The table was set and the amuse-bouche was already on our plates as a small group of Chef Enid Parham’s friends and followers began to arrive for one of her recent dinners.

Meant to awaken the palate, the amuse course is traditionally a single bite of food that offers a preview of the meal to come, a little gratis gift from the kitchen to welcome guests.

But this dinner was a little different.

Instead of a preciously plated morsel, we were offered a pre-rolled joint — a marijuana cigarette comprised of the hybrid strain Chem Glue — a fitting aperitif before a meal infused with cannabis.

By day, Parham, who is known to some as Chef Sunflower, cooks at one of the stadiums downtown and also occasionally pops up around town with her African-Detroit fusion concept Swahili Coney. Before that, she was a cook at Punch Bowl Social, Brooklyn Street Local and Wright & Co. in Detroit.

But for the last four years, Parham’s also been practicing and honing her skills cooking cannabis-infused meals, first informally and illegally with mixed results.

“We were actually having parties in the downtown area serving corporate people but we used to keep it quiet and hidden,” Parham says. “The clientele we had picked up at the time was so good it made me nervous, because at first I didn’t know what I was doing. … I had people complaining saying, ‘It was too much for me.’ ”

Chef Enid Parham's cheddar polenta cake cooked with butter infused with Super Lemon, a strain of marijuana, is topped with sweet braised cherry tomatoes, crispy pork belly and microgreens. Parham specializes in cooking cannabis-infused food.

Parham took a pause from doing the underground parties a few years ago to focus on R&D. She scoured the internet, contacting people hosting similar events in California, gathering knowledge and getting her recipes down.

On Nov. 6, 2018, Michigan residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of a ballot measure legalizing adult use and possession of marijuana, just as Parham was readying her return to what’s now projected to be a multi-billion-dollar market.

Now, she’s bringing her practice out of the shadows, with a cannabis-infused catering company called Lucky Pistil and a soon-to-launch online cooking show called Bonnie’s Kitchen.

More than just munchies

Many of us, myself included, chose to save our “first course” for later, more curious to experience the psychoactive effects of the food we were about to eat unaided by other measures.

We were gathered around the table inside a private residence in Detroit’s Bagley neighborhood for a higher purpose than just, well, getting high.

We were also being filmed for a segment to be included in Parham’s new cannabis-infused cooking and conversation show, created to educate consumers and destigmatize marijuana consumption for the uninitiated.

“We wanted to have a space where people could come together just like at grandma’s table,” Parham said, noting that Bonnie’s Kitchen was named after her paternal grandmother, “and talk and discuss whatever they want to discuss and network and meet people and grow something that can also help the marijuana community.”

Buttered crostini topped with cannabis-infused cannellini bean mousse, spicy broccoli rabe and beef bacon. This dish was served during the taping of the inaugural episode of Bonnie's Kitchen, a new web series highlighting cannabis cooking and conversation.

Our first bite of food that night was buttered crostini carrying three clouds of whipped cannellini bean mousse infused with duck liver and approximately 5 mg of GG4, an Indica-dominant strain of weed that’s known for its relaxing and euphoria-inducing properties. Atop the mousse lay spicy griddled broccoli rabe and beef bacon — a nice cover for the hint of earthy, high-palate cannabis flavor emanating from the mousse.

It was delicious.

“You go to a dispensary and it’s all brownies, gummies, rice krispies,” said fellow diner Jenna Michlin. “There’s no, like, real food.”

Someone else mentioned that this was their first multi-course cannabis-infused meal.

“Those are my best experiences,” said Chi Walker. “Because the chef typically is making sure that it’s a comfortable high, versus ‘Let’s just get (expletive) high.’ ”

Together, Michlin and Walker run Femmes de la Fleur, a cannabis catering company. “Inspired by the healing properties of THC and CBD, these women will take your culinary experiences to new heights,” the Femmes de la Fleur website proclaims.

Before the rest of us had arrived, they’d also filmed a segment for the show, preparing the dessert for the evening.

“Another reason why I want to do Bonnie’s Kitchen is to introduce other local chefs, especially women of color and other ethnicities of people,” Parham told me a few days after the dinner. “When I came back down here and jumped into this new Detroit, it wasn’t really for people of color or women.”

Chi Walker is one half of Femmes de la Fleur, a female-led events company that fuses cannabis with food.

In the weeds 

The racial disparities evident in Detroit’s dining scene — where front-line staff, top-level management, owners and diners in the hottest restaurants are mostly white despite the city’s overwhelmingly black population — are even more troublesome in the field of cannabis.

Just as I started to feel a little softness behind my eyes, the conversation turned from edibles to the country’s drug policies: Nixon and the War on Drugs, Reagan and Just Say No, Clinton and Three Strikes, and how all of these policies had disproportionately affected communities of color, ballooned the U.S. prison population and destroyed families over something that more privileged folks now stand to profit from. (One salient example: Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, once vehemently opposed to marijuana, now sits on the board of a publicly traded cannabis company.)

“It’s one of our goals to work to help those families who have been affected by having a family member who has been imprisoned for a nonviolent marijuana crime,” Walker said. “Because it doesn’t make sense. It makes absolutely no sense.”

Conversations about race were on the same table a month prior, when freelance writer  Darralynn Hutson convened a group of African American cannabis industry influencers to discuss the budding industry and its challenges.

Parham offered a Bonnie’s Kitchen preview meal that night, on the stoner high holiday of 4/20, to diners that included former Fox 2 Detroit anchor Anqunette Sarfoh, now a medical marijuana dispensary owner, and Willis Marshall, a former Arena Football League wide receiver who owns a line of CBD-infused hair and skin care products.

Chef Enid Parham, of Bonnie's Kitchen and Lucky Pistil catering, looks on as guests -- former arena football player Willis Marshall and former TV anchor Anqunette Jamison Sarfoh -- enjoy a cannabis-infused meal on 4/20 hosted by Darralynn Hutson, left.

But one of the most salient points of that night came from a participant who wished to remain anonymous because marijuana use and advocacy could cause trouble with their employer — a request that highlights the gaping rift between the new law and established professional culture. (It’s the same reason Parham didn’t want to name her own employer.)

“When I’m reflecting on stigma, I think my race has a lot to do with my ability to be out and consuming cannabis,” said the anonymous guest, who is black. “Privileged normalization is still a thing. White folks have been consuming cannabis for so long and they can talk about it, but when we do it we have to say, ‘This is medical!’

“So when I’m thinking about being able to say that I’m an adult user of cannabis, I’m thinking about the culture. Do you know how many friends I have made around a table with a blunt? How much deepening of relationships that happens there? This is something that’s not shameful, but there’s a lot of shame put on it because of who is the face of it.”

A higher calling

I started to feel butterflies in my stomach, an anticipatory sign of an oncoming high, just as Parham introduced the main course: capellini pasta in a lemon and anchovy sauce with enoki mushrooms, smoked mussels and seared scallops. It was cooked with more of that GG4 butter and some olive oil infused with Hindu Kush.

The table grew quiet as we devoured the dish, its subtle sauce brightened even more by the lemony turpenes, the essential oils that give weed its flavor. 

Capellini pasta with seared scallops, enoki mushrooms, smoked mussels and tomatoes, tossed in a lemon and anchovy sauce infused with marijuana. This dish was served during the taping of the inaugural episode of Bonnie's Kitchen, a new web series highlighting cannabis cooking and conversation.

I asked Parham how her grandmother would feel about her name being used to promote cannabis.

“She grew up in the hood,” Parham responded. “She never tried to pretend like everybody should be holier than thou. She would correct you when you were wrong. She knew nobody was perfect. She wasn’t perfect. But we lived through it. I think if she saw me being successful with her name she’d be happy.”

By the time we were served dessert, a pudding-like infused dark chocolate mousse topped with infused whipped cream and plain old chocolate chips, I started to see some trails, a kind of subtle motion blur that makes the world feel just a bit more cinematic.

Over the years, Parham has honed her quantities, aiming for a microdosed meal with subtle effects rather than an experience that will glue you to your couch or send you on a paranoid trip. At both meals, during the taping and on 4/20, my buzz never reached a level I’d call “high,” the effects more akin to drinking a glass of wine or two. 

And the result was similar, too. Eight people had started the night mostly as strangers from varying backgrounds and ended it discussing our favorite Disney movies, at times breaking into song to prove a point. We’d bonded over a delicious meal in a safe, adult way, and each learned something new in the process. 

Dark chocolate mousse infused with marijuana from Femmes de la Fleur was served during the taping of the inaugural episode of Bonnie's Kitchen, a new web series highlighting cannabis cooking and conversation featuring chef Enid Parham.

Michigan’s burgeoning recreational marijuana industry is still in its infancy, with many new endeavors operating in a legal gray area simply for lack of specificity in the law. Legal consumption on the premises of a marijuana business, say, in an Amsterdam-like cafe, is still a big question mark, though it could one day be a lucrative market. 

Aside from questions of equity and who benefits in this Green Rush, there are plenty of other hurdles to overcome.

“I think it’s good that it’s legal,” Parham told me a few days later. “But now comes the part of educating people, teaching them not just to get high but how to medicate themselves.

“Food is medicine.”

Send your dining tips to Free Press Restaurant Critic Mark Kurlyandchik at 313-222-5026 ormkurlyandc@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @MKurlyandchik and Instagram @curlyhandshake. Read more restaurant news and reviews and sign up for our Food and Dining newsletter.

For info on Bonnie’s Kitchen 

Follow Lucky Pistil on Instagram (@luckypistil) to stay updated on Parham’s endeavors or sign up for the Bonnie’s Kitchen newsletter at bit.ly/BonniesKitchen.

The rules on weed, and dining

Until the regulated recreational market debuts in 2020, it will remain illegal to sell non-medical marijuana in Michigan. But the law currently allows for the gifting of anything less than 2½ ounces, which is far more weed than any single diner should consume. The Bonnie’s Kitchen meal contained approximately 35 mg of THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana, which represents just a tiny fraction of the legal limit.

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What it takes to enter the cannabis baking category – Baking Business

In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults over the age of 21, with those laws going into effect in 2014. Ever since, the question has been, will cannabis baked goods eventually take off on the commercial level? Well, in Colorado at least, the seeds for that industry had already been planted in 2009.

“When Colorado legalized medicinal cannabis, there were no real regulations,” said Julie Berliner, founder and CEO of Sweet Grass Kitchen, Denver. “Anyone could do whatever they wanted. It’s actually how I started. I would bake out of my home kitchen and walk up the street and sell them at the dispensaries around my home in Boulder.”

Today, even though it’s not to the industrial scale of larger more conventional wholesale operations, Sweet Grass Kitchen supplies edibles to 500 dispensaries throughout the state and is an established brand in the edibles category.

Similarly, Love’s Oven started in 2009 and just moved into an 8,500-sq-ft facility in April 2015 to handle the growth it has experienced. The bakery supplies edibles to about 400 dispensaries in Colorado. Business boomed that first year for recreational edibles. “We posted as much in January of 2014 in sales as we did in all of 2013,” said Peggy Moore, CEO and partner at Love’s Oven, Denver. “It really turned our business on its ear, in a good way.”

The still young cannabis baking category isn’t just relegated to Colorado anymore. Legalized cannabis, both in medicinal and recreational formats, is gaining momentum across the US. Currently, 10 states and Washington, DC, have legalized recreational cannabis, and medicinal cannabis is legal in 33 states. In 2017, several states included marijuana legalization bills, and legalization ballot initiatives were filed in several states for the 2018 election. Pew Research found that 62% of Americans believe the use of marijuana should be legal, and with many of the states leaving this decision to a popular vote, it doesn’t seem like the cannabis baking industry is going anywhere but up.

Where Marijuana is legal

“The growth is everywhere because this industry is very much in its infancy,” said Cory Ravelson, northeast operations manager, 4Front Ventures, a vertically integrated cannabis company based in Phoenix. “There’s so much momentum behind every aspect of the industry because it’s all so new. It’s really hard to pinpoint one particular driver.”

As more states legalize marijuana, increased consumer demand and a proliferation of regulations demonstrate how cannabis has become a normalized ingredient in the baking industry.

Simple to superior

Emerging markets always boom with growth, and cannabis feels particularly like the Wild West whenever a state newly legalizes the substance. Looking at more mature markets such as Colorado, Washington and California, a picture comes into focus of how consumer demands change as the hype settles down. Bakers serving these new states can look to others for some direction and guidance.

When a state first legalizes cannabis, sales surge as consumers race to enjoy the novelty of legally consuming marijuana. People who may have never tried it before may reach to edibles first as a less stigmatized version of consumption. “We’re dealing with people who are indulging in this product for the first time, so I’m trying to keep things simple and create things people are already going to like such as gummies, chocolate bars, cookies and brownies,” Mr. Ravelson said.

The baked good at this stage of adoption serves as a vehicle for a high, delivered by the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) component in the cannabis, rather than a dessert or snacking experience, and therefore, the baked good doesn’t have to be very exciting or innovative. The cannabis is the exciting part, so the baked good can be something familiar and nostalgic.Sweet Grass Kitchen

Taste is also critical at this stage as cannabis is a flavor unto itself and doesn’t go with everything. “I try to stick with flavors that are found in nature and pair well with the cannabis,” said Lauren Finesilver, director of production and executive chef, Sweet Grass Kitchen. “For example, chocolate is inherently known and understood and liked by a lot of people. We use peanut butter, mint, ginger, cinnamon — flavors that are common to baking and not very crazy.”

Ms. Finesilver believes those wacky flavors are still on the horizon for more mature markets such as Colorado. “I think you’ll see more unique flavors and colors in the confection world, but I don’t know if that will happen as quickly in baking,” she continued. “I do think there will be in the future more sophistication in terms of fancier baked goods.”

As cannabis consumption becomes a part of everyday life in states that legalized it early, consumers’ demand for edibles is shifting from just getting high. The popularity of gummies and other confections is also pushing bakers to step up their products. “Consumers are changing their preferences a bit,” Ms. Moore observed. “While we do see a solid market for baked goods, the refresh on our baked product line is going to keep us relevant.”

This touches on two trends Ms. Moore and Ms. Finesilver see in the Colorado market: premium baked goods and better-for-you baked goods. To meet the first trend, Love’s Oven recently launched enrobed sweet goods, first with a chocolate-covered turtle brownie and chocolate-covered shortbread cookie. Enrobing helps address another challenge facing cannabis bakers as they serve more dispensaries.

“Enrobing these products in chocolate not only makes them very delicious, but it also helps us extend the shelf life,” Ms. Moore explained. “We don’t use any preservatives in our products, and shelf life is becoming more important as the market evolves.”

“There’s so much momentum behind every aspect of the industry because it’s all so new. It’s really hard to pinpoint one particular driver.” Cory Ravelson, 4front Ventures

As consumers get used to introductory cannabis-infused cookies and brownies, they’ll start looking for lifestyle products that can give them the high they seek but also some kind of benefit such as protein bars or high-cannabidiol (CBD) products. This category could also follow other food industry trends in organic, clean label or locally sourced ingredients. “People are going to realize these products are all sugar-based and relatively unhealthy, and they will start seeking healthier ways to consume edible forms of cannabis,” Mr. Ravelson said.

Also, consumers’ priorities around the cannabis itself will evolve. At the moment, especially in newer markets, Mr. Ravelson sees initial concerns about the product’s THC potency, but consumers will eventually move onto the more nuanced aspects of the raw cannabis flower such as its flavor profile. “I don’t think very many people walk through a liquor store looking at the proof of alcohol, and that’s how the cannabis industry is right now,” he said. “People don’t go into a liquor store and buy Everclear for $10 even though it’s the most potent thing out there. The market will be shifting away from being all about potency to more about quality.”

An evolving consumer base

As the cannabis industry matures, the edibles offered also mature and diversify. Part of this is to keep interest and buzz going as consumers become more inundated with edibles; they look for something more than a basic brownie or cookies. It also could have something to do with market penetration. The more cannabis normalizes in a state, the more diverse the consumer base becomes.

It is true that young men between the ages of 25 and 35 make up the majority of cannabis users, but the gap is closing as the market changes. For example, Sweet Grass Kitchens’ fastest-growing consumer demographic is seniors. The benefits of cannabis for easing the effects of aging are no secret, and edibles provide this population with a vehicle to receive these benefits that is more palatable to them than smoking.

Sweet Grass Kitchen

“Baked goods are a more familiar product for seniors versus the newer candies and gummies,” said Jesse Burns, marketing director, Sweet Grass Kitchen. “Everyone knows what the pot brownie is, and that is the route to edibles for most folks.”

Ms. Moore, characterized the bakery’s target consumer as being older and skewing more female than male. They are also interested in natural and clean label baked goods, and because of that, the bakery doesn’t use any artificial preservatives. “Our target consumer isn’t primarily interested in smoking,” she said. “They are more interested in the edible and not putting anything ‘bad’ into their body.”

Regulations lead to innovation

Even in the most established markets, regulations are constantly changing. New regulations can either spell disaster for a bakery, or they can spur new innovation. One regulation regarding caps on THC per serving has created an entirely new product line that bakers can use to reach a new consumer group and help people enjoy products responsibly.

A major difference between medicinal cannabis and recreational cannabis is potency. “For the medicinal market, it’s hard to limit how potent a product can be because a patient with aggressive cancer is going to need a concentrated dosage of marijuana for pain management,” Mr. Ravelson explained. On the other hand, states that legalize recreational cannabis often are capping the potency allowed in edible servings.

In Colorado, for example, one serving of edible cannabis is regulated to contain 10 mg THC or less. Other states have capped potency at 5 mg. These regulations are leading bakers to create microdose products containing about 2.5 mg THC per serving to give consumers a cannabis experience that could be compared to drinking one glass of wine vs. an entire bottle.

“People can have an enjoyable experience without overindulging, and they can eat more without overdoing it on THC,” Ms. Finesilver said.

Microdose products also can serve a purpose introducing curious people who have never tried cannabis before. As Mr. Ravelson explained, trying edibles can be a trial-and-error experience to discover a person’s tolerance. “If someone has never tried an edible, they don’t fully understand what they’re getting into, just like the first time you try alcohol,” he said. “With microdoses, people are going to have a more enjoyable, controlled experience.”

The ball is rolling on the legalization of cannabis in the US, and it’s gaining momentum. By paying attention to how the edibles market has evolved in each state with legal marijuana, bakers can prepare for a future where cannabis-infused baked goods are the new normal and be ready to go beyond the pot brownie.

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Cooking with Cannabis: Tips From a Red Seal Chef – Leafly

Cooking with Cannabis: Tips From a Red Seal Chef


Leafly Leafly ® Loading…

In a survey conducted by the US-based National Restaurant Association in late 2018, almost 700 professional chefs predicted that CBD-infused drinks and CBD-infused foods would be the most popular trends in dining in the coming year.

They predicted that infusing foods with cannabis would create unique culinary opportunities and establish a new dining experience. Many industry insiders expect the same scenario to unfold in Canada after edibles and concentrates become legal nationwide.

People don’t scrutinize cannabis the way they scrutinize food, but they should.

Chef John MacNeil

In anticipation of that development, Zenabis, a licensed producer of medical and recreational cannabis based in Vancouver, BC, has teamed up with Red Seal chef John MacNeil. A chef earns a Red Seal accreditation by demonstrating superior skills and knowledge, and passing a national exam.

MacNeil is from Cape Breton, NS, but worked at Michelin-rated restaurants in Europe and then made a name for himself in Calgary, where he was an executive chef of the award-winning Italian restaurant, Teatro Ristorante. He opened The Black Pig Bistro in the city’s trendy Bridgeland area five years ago. He later sold it to his business partners and started reTreat Edibles, which sells baking mixes formulated to accommodate the addition of cannabis.

Aware of his credentials, many Canadians approach MacNeil, an expert in molecular gastronomy, to discuss cooking with cannabis. He starts by emphasizing the importance of origin. “You should only use legally produced cannabis to ensure it’s clean and safe,” he says. “People don’t scrutinize cannabis the way they scrutinize food, but they should.”

He fields many questions in those conversations. Here are some of the most common:

How does cannabis affect the flavour of a dish?

Like wine grapes, cannabis comes in countless strains with various flavours including, for example, citrus, berry, mint and pine. These flavours are created by aromatic oils called terpenes, which are secreted in the same glands that produce cannabis compounds including Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Terpenes form part of the flavour profile of a cannabis-infused dish so it’s important to select ones that complement the other ingredients.

How much cannabis should be included in a dish?

MacNeil compares learning how much cannabis to include in a dish to learning how to cook steak properly. You overcook then undercook before learning to make it just right. It takes practice to find out where the sweet spot is, he says.

Dosing varies from one individual to the next depending on a person’s previous history of cannabis consumption, gastrointestinal factors, and the sensitivity of his or her endocannabinoid system. Most experts recommend a starting dose of no more than 2.5 mg of bud for beginners. However, since effects vary based on each person consuming, MacNeil does not make dosing recommendations.

Also, it takes awhile for edibles to take effect so beginners often make the mistake of ingesting too much too soon. MacNeil and other experts advise beginners to wait around two hours before deciding whether to take a second dose.

What is one of the most popular cannabis-infused items people make at home?

Many people express an interest in cannabis-infused brownies. MacNeil recommends using Thai coconut milk and French chocolate.

To infuse cannabis into chocolate brownies and other baked goods, many people use the whole plant, drying, curing and then grinding it into a flour-like substance and combining  it with cooking oil or butter.

When should THC and CBD be consumed?

This is entirely up to the individual consuming it. Depending on the desired outcome, some prefer consuming high THC, a psychoactive compound, while others prefer high CBD for less of a high. In short, pick a strain based on your desired effect.

Cooking with Cannabis Recipes by Chef John MacNeil

Namaste by Zenabis Logo

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Cooking with Cannabis: Tips From a Red Seal Chef – Leafly – Leafly

Cooking with Cannabis: Tips From a Red Seal Chef


Leafly Leafly ®

Loading…

In a survey conducted by the US-based National Restaurant Association in late 2018, almost 700 professional chefs predicted that CBD-infused drinks and CBD-infused foods would be the most popular trends in dining in the coming year.

They predicted that infusing foods with cannabis would create unique culinary opportunities and establish a new dining experience. Many industry insiders expect the same scenario to unfold in Canada after edibles and concentrates become legal nationwide.

People don’t scrutinize cannabis the way they scrutinize food, but they should.

Chef John MacNeil

In anticipation of that development, Zenabis, a licensed producer of medical and recreational cannabis based in Vancouver, BC, has teamed up with Red Seal chef John MacNeil. A chef earns a Red Seal accreditation by demonstrating superior skills and knowledge, and passing a national exam.

MacNeil is from Cape Breton, NS, but worked at Michelin-rated restaurants in Europe and then made a name for himself in Calgary, where he was an executive chef of the award-winning Italian restaurant, Teatro Ristorante. He opened The Black Pig Bistro in the city’s trendy Bridgeland area five years ago. He later sold it to his business partners and started reTreat Edibles, which sells baking mixes formulated to accommodate the addition of cannabis.

Aware of his credentials, many Canadians approach MacNeil, an expert in molecular gastronomy, to discuss cooking with cannabis. He starts by emphasizing the importance of origin. “You should only use legally produced cannabis to ensure it’s clean and safe,” he says. “People don’t scrutinize cannabis the way they scrutinize food, but they should.”

He fields many questions in those conversations. Here are some of the most common:

How does cannabis affect the flavour of a dish?

Like wine grapes, cannabis comes in countless strains with various flavours including, for example, citrus, berry, mint and pine. These flavours are created by aromatic oils called terpenes, which are secreted in the same glands that produce cannabis compounds including Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Terpenes form part of the flavour profile of a cannabis-infused dish so it’s important to select ones that complement the other ingredients.

How much cannabis should be included in a dish?

MacNeil compares learning how much cannabis to include in a dish to learning how to cook steak properly. You overcook then undercook before learning to make it just right. It takes practice to find out where the sweet spot is, he says.

Dosing varies from one individual to the next depending on a person’s previous history of cannabis consumption, gastrointestinal factors, and the sensitivity of his or her endocannabinoid system. Most experts recommend a starting dose of no more than 2.5 mg of bud for beginners. However, since effects vary based on each person consuming, MacNeil does not make dosing recommendations.

Also, it takes awhile for edibles to take effect so beginners often make the mistake of ingesting too much too soon. MacNeil and other experts advise beginners to wait around two hours before deciding whether to take a second dose.

What is one of the most popular cannabis-infused items people make at home?

Many people express an interest in cannabis-infused brownies. MacNeil recommends using Thai coconut milk and French chocolate.

To infuse cannabis into chocolate brownies and other baked goods, many people use the whole plant, drying, curing and then grinding it into a flour-like substance and combining  it with cooking oil or butter.

When should THC and CBD be consumed?

This is entirely up to the individual consuming it. Depending on the desired outcome, some prefer consuming high THC, a psychoactive compound, while others prefer high CBD for less of a high. In short, pick a strain based on your desired effect.

Cooking with Cannabis Recipes by Chef John MacNeil

Namaste by Zenabis Logo

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On Eating, Cooking With, and Actually Enjoying Weed – Bon Appetit

Every week, Healthyish editor Amanda Shapiro talks about what she’s seeing, eating, watching, and reading in the wellness world and beyond. Pro tip: If you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll get the scoop before everyone else.

Healthyish friends,

This week on the site, we’re talking about cannabis and food: How to eat weed, how to cook with it, and how to actually enjoy it now that the plant is accessible (and legal) in more places than ever before. There’s a ton of great stuff to read, like a guide to buying ethical weed, an extremely doable step-by-step guide to making your own weed butter, some of our favorite cannabis-adjacent products (Do I need a 24K-gold eggplant-shaped pipe? No, but boy do I want it.), and a profile of the woman who baked 600 pot brownies a day for AIDS patients—then helped pass the first medical marijuana law in the country. And, of course, there’s tons to cook too: mango smoothies, brown butter carrots, and lemon semifreddo, all infused with your CBD oil of choice.

Image may contain Cutlery Spoon Dish Food Meal Platter Plant Egg and Fruit

Are carrot coins cool again?

Photo by Alex Lau, Food Styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, Prop Styling by Kalen Kaminski

Here at Healthyish, we’re experts in food, not cannabis, so we tapped Broccoli, a magazine about women and weed, to help us out. Luckily their founder and creative director Anja Charbonneau was very down, so we worked together between Portland, OR, and NYC (with help from contributors around the country and in Mexico) to create this dreamy, delicious guide. You can read it in Broccoli’s gorgeous new spring issue or on Healthyish today.

And to celebrate, we’re having breakfast! On Monday, our friends at Future of Women threw an amazing porridge party and cannabis convo at Porridge and Puffs in L.A. And on May 8th, they’re helping us host a second breakfast and panel at Kopitiam in NYC. It’s sold out, but if you snagged a ticket, I’ll see you there.

Until next week,

Amanda Shapiro
Healthyish Editor

P.S. A few months ago we were honored to publish this essay from Fatima Ali on Healthyish; chef Fati passed away a few months later. On Friday, her piece received the James Beard Award for Shortform Personal Essay. Her brother, Mohammad Ali, came to NYC to accept the award on her behalf, and he asked the audience: “What would you do if you were in Fatima’s shoes? Who would you call? After that, ask yourself, what are you waiting for? Enjoy the things in life that are simple and beautiful. Thank you everyone who was involved in her life.”