Singer Kelis, probably best known for her mega-hit Milkshake, has announced an exciting new project — a cooking competition using weed as an ingredient in the crafting of culinary masterpieces.
Cooked with Cannabis — a six-episode show — will be co-hosted by Kelis and Portland-based weed chef, Leather Storrs. It is set to premiere on Netflix on 4/20.
Each of the six episodes of the first season will feature three professional chefs competing to create a three-course meal withcannabis-infused ingredients for a prize of $10,000. The pot-inspired creations will be rated by hosts Kelis and Storrs and a rotating panel of celebrity guests.
In her Instagram post announcing the release of Cooked with Cannabis, Kelis expressed her interest in food as a powerful topic in today’s society that allows for different oppressed groups to “learn and grow together.”
In addition to a successful music career spanning almost two decades, Kelis has long been a part of the culinary world, as well. Since graduating from the renowned Le Cordon Bleu culinary school as a trained saucier, the Caught out There singer has published a cookbook, hosted a show on the Cooking Channel, launched her own sauce line, and partnered with other chefs and brands, such as Puma, Spotify, and Airbnb, for curated culinary experiences.
Netflix is no stranger to cannabis-related content and cooking competitions. With documentaries like Grass is Greener and Weed the People, as well as a long list of stoner movies to stream, this platform is the perfect medium for shows like Cooked with Cannabis which are aimed at foodies, cannabis enthusiasts, and people who would like to learn more about both.
This type of programming might just be the right form of escapism we need during this period of self-isolation and social distancing. We have the time, we can get the ingredients (weed dispensaries are open and delivering), and as of 4/20, Kelis and Netflix will provide the inspiration. So we might as well get cooking with cannabis.
Ljubica is a writer and researcher who enjoys spending most of her time between the pages of her favorite books or immersed in her writing. With a background in English literature, she prides herself on delivering content that is well-researched and backed up by relevant data. When she’s not working, she’s known to binge-watch a TV show or two or hit the gym, which doesn’t happen that often.
An all-new cooking show, with a twist, is headed to Netflix! Here’s everything you need to know about Cooked with Cannabis.
At this point, Netflix has mastered every genre. From crime dramas to reality shows, the streaming giant has it all, and arguably features some of the best in each genre! Now, it’s taking over the kitchen even further with Cooked with Cannabis, a cooking competition series that debuts on April 20, because obviously!
Kelis Rogers, a singer-turned-chef, and Portland-based chef Leather Storrs, are set to host the upcoming show that focuses on cannabis-infused foods. To many, this is a brand new concept. There’s more to cooking with marijuana than brownies and cookies! Cooked with Cannabis is about to open the world up to three-course meals. How does one even cook this, and, most importantly, are these dishes even good? We’re about to find out.
From the official description from Netflix, “Here lies the most fun-filled, fascinating and mouth-watering cooking competition series that gives a whole new meaning to the word “baked.”
How many episodes and how does it work: Cooked with Cannabis will consist of six episodes (each running about 40 minutes) and see three chefs work against the clock, competing to create a three-course meal based on different themes assigned to them by our judges. The main ingredient is, of course, weed.
The judges and guest stars: Hosts Storrs and Rogers will sample each course to determine a winner. Dinner guests will also be present to sample the food and chime in with their thoughts. There will be one winner per episode, so three new chefs will be competing in each episode. Expect to see several guests you may recognize, such as Mary Lynn Rajskub, Too $hort, El-P, and others.
If you’re housebound by COVID-19 – as so many of us are – you’re probably doing more home cooking, for healthier fare and better use of limited resources. And in this, you’re not alone: The home-cooking trend is huge, reflected in the quarantine-friendly recipes popping up on Buzzfeed and the New York Times.
The New York Postreported that one Chinese cooking platform alone attracted 580 million views after the epidemic shut down that country in late December.
Here in the United States, however, you may be craving something a bit more on the wild side than Chinese rice noodles – and if that something is cannabis treats and topicals, a new device is making that process easier and cheaper.
It’s called the Nova FX, a newly released, thermally heated counter-top device from the Boston-based Ardent Company. Attorney and company founder and president Shanel Lindsay calls the cylindrical stainless steel device an “easy-bake oven” because it can activate your cannabis through the essential process of decarboxylation.
There’s more: The same device can also bake the edibles desired – whether that means THC-infused cookies, muffins, pizza and applesauce, or CBD-infused edibles for pain relief. Topical gels can also be made in the Nova FX, as well as infused oils.
Further, the Nova FX lets the cannabis chef customize the product to his or her specifications: from ingredients preferred, to the amount of sugar (or no sugar) added, to the use of lecithin for easier absorption. More precise dosing of THC or CBD is also possible.
Both CBD and THC foods can be prepared using the appliance, depending on the cannabis flower chosen.
The problem during the current coronavirus strictures, of course, is that THC flower strains are suddenly hard to come by due to the mandatory shuttering of nonessential businesses in multiple states.
This means that, even where it was previously legal, recreational cannabis may no longer be sold at dispensaries (though most may still sell CBD medicinal items).
The new rules put a strain on cannabis buyers. “People are hunkering down in order to stretch their materials, which is really important,” Lindsay says. “Without our product, people are using a lot of cannabis to make [food and topicals]. The Nova FX allows them to use much, much less cannabis.”
Then there’s the difficulty of how to make edibles. “You can go anywhere on the internet and see very, very complicated instructions on how to make cannabis products,” Lindsay says. “And at the end of the day… you’re going to use a lot more cannabis than you need to, and end up coming up with a sub-par product, because decarboxylation is not simple to do. It can use a lot of material and burn off the THC or CBD that you’re trying to activate.”
“Decarboxylation” is that previously mentioned prerequisite for making edibles because it allows the cannabis’s THC or CBD to work. What’s involved is a drying/heating process that activates the original cannabinoid compounds THCA and CBDA, turning them into THC and CBD.
That heating/drying process occurs to some degree with smoking or vaping cannabis because of the high heat involved – but cannabis for edibles must be heated some other way.
The Nova FX can “de-carb” – as Lindsay calls it — up to 4 ounces at a time, much more than its predecessor model, the Nova, which can handle just 1 ounce.
To achieve this essential de-carbing, the Nova FX has a thermal heating core wrapping around the whole device – unlike what’s found in an oven or crockpot. More even heating is therefore possible. “There are also two sensors that allow us to have an algorithm at the bottom, a micro-controller that creates laboratory-grade heating for this device,” Lindsay explains.
“This allows the baker to evenly, gently heat the cannabis, not vaporize it, she says – and, she claims, this capability saves a good deal of weed – and, therefore, money. What the cannabis cook can do next with the much larger Nova FX is bake up a whole batch of cookies or other desired edible treat right there in the device, the same way he or she might cook up a load of pasta (which, by the way, is also possible in the Nova FX).
This is why Lindsay labels her item a “crossover device,” which, she says, is augmented by testing results that show the efficacy of the product.
“We definitely are in a league of our own,” she declares.
In fact, the do-it-yourself edibles/topicals market has other players besides Ardent: They include LEVO II, an appliance that decarboxylates and prepares herbs (like cannabis) for infusions; the MagicalButter MB2e, a countertop botanical extractor which infuses herbs into butter, oil, alcohol and lotions; and the Hi herbal infuser.
Still, the Nova, which retails online and in health food stores for $350, is different for its baking capability and for the company’s impressive financial profile: It’s a woman-led startup that has chalked up $7 million in sales and been profitable since 2017.
Of course, what truly counts beyond profits is what this “easy-bake oven” offers during today’s stressful pandemic: opportunities for pain relief and relaxation for a whole lot of Americans who otherwise might never have fancied themselves to be home chefs.
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Infusion is often the most challenging part of cooking with cannabis and the reason why many people turn to their vaporizer in defeat. I’m here to tell you that you can do this! Not only is it doable, but it’s worth it.
If you haven’t yet discovered the wonder that is cannabis-infused eating, I’m excited for you because you’re in for an adventure. The experience from start to finish is significantly different from common inhalation methods. The effects are typically longer, stronger, and slower to set in.
Cannabis-infused oil is probably the most versatile medium and a great place to start, since it can be used for baking desserts, sautéing veggies, frying up your morning eggs, or putting in your salad dressing. In addition, as is the case with cooking anything at home, you have complete control over its preparation. Does peanut oil hold a special place in your heart? Make cannabis-infused peanut oil!
Recipe for cannabis cooking oil
1 cup of ground cannabis flower (or less for milder potency)
1 cup of cooking oil of your choice
Note: When making canna oil, you want to use a 1:1 ratio of cannabis to oil.
Choosing the right cooking oil base for your canna oil
Picking the right oil for infusion comes down to your flavor preferences and the dishes you plan on cooking. Oils will have different consistencies at room temperature, so be sure to put thought into how you will be storing and using your oil.
Many oils work well with baking too! So you might want to choose an oil that will have a flavor and consistency that works for multiple recipes. For example, if you are looking for an oil that can be used in a stir fry as well as a pie crust, coconut oil is a great option. It adds great flavor to veggies and remains solid enough at room temperature to hold up as a pie crust.
If you are looking for an oil with a mild flavor, vegetable and canola oil are going to be great options. They are also very versatile and work with most recipes calling for oil.
If you want something a little more robust in flavor, you can infuse olive or avocado oil. Both stand up well to the cannabis flavor and can be stored in your pantry. One of the most surprisingly delicious deserts I ever had was an olive oil ice cream. So feel free to get creative!
Strainer or cheesecloth
Grinder (a simple hand grinder works best; appliances like blenders and coffee grinder pulverize the cannabis, resulting in edibles with bad tasting plant material)
Double-boiler, slow cooker, or saucepan, etc.
Grind the cannabis. You can include the entire plant, just the flower, a little bit of both—this is all a matter of preference. Just keep in mind that anything small enough to fit through the strainer will end up in your finished product, so again, do not grind your cannabis into a fine powder.
Combine oil and cannabis in your double-boiler, slow cooker, or saucepan, and heat on low or warm for a few hours. This allows for decarboxylation (activation of THC) without scorching (which destroys the active ingredients). In all cases, a small amount of water can be added to the mixture to help avoid burning, and the temperature of the oil should never exceed 245°F. Cooking can be done a variety of ways:
Crock pot method: Heat oil and cannabis in a slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.
Double-boiler method: Heat oil and cannabis in a double-boiler on low for at least 6 hours (8 is better), stirring occasionally.
Saucepan method: Heat oil and cannabis in a simple saucepan on low for at least 3 hours, stirring frequently (a saucepan is most susceptible to scorching).
Strain and store the oil. Do not squeeze the cheesecloth; this will simply add more chlorophyll to your oil. All remaining plant material can be discarded or used in other dishes if desired. The oil’s shelf life is at least two months, and can be extended with refrigeration.
Note: Be cautious when using the oil to prepare dishes that require heating. Do not microwave and choose low heat whenever possible.
Tips for reducing odor when making cannabis oil
The trick for reducing odor is using the right tool for decarboxylation. The steam produced during cooking might not give off a pungent odor at first, but it gets stronger with time. It takes hours for the oil to finish, so you can imagine that the odor can build, and, if you are in the same room the whole time, you may not notice the gradual increase in dankness.
Using kitchen devices with rubber seals on their lids will allow you to lock in the majority of the odor during the cook. Finding a crock pot or pressure cooker with this feature is easy. The seal allows you to be strategic in where and when you open the lid.
Whether you take it outside or put it under your kitchen vent, not allowing the odor to fill your space is paramount when it comes to discretion. But accidents happen! If you find yourself in a situation where your space is too pungent, check out our article on how to get rid of the cannabis odor.
How to cook with your weed oil
Now that you have successfully infused your oil of choice, be sure to try a little before you make an entire meal. You want to make sure the dosage is right so the meal is delicious as well as enjoyable afterward.
You also want to be sure not to scorch the oil while cooking (just like when you are making the oil). It would be a shame for all that hard work to go to waste and to be left with a cannabis-tasting creation without any of the effects.
Now get cooking! I suggest finding a few of your favorite recipes and see if an infused-cannabis oil could work. Experimenting with different recipes is half the fun, and here are a few of our favorite recipes to get you going:
This post was originally published on September 19, 2013. It was most recently updated on March 20, 2020.
Kayla is a writer with an emphasis in holistic health, bioengineering, and nutrition/dietetics.
There’s no shortage of cannabis recipes and cookbooks. The internet is full of ideas that’ll inspire you to dust off that mixer, roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty making some weed-infused eats.
And whether you’re still trying to master the basics like weed butter and canna cooking oil, or have moved on to more complicated recipes that call for ingredients like homemade canna flour, there are step-by-step tutorials for every level of at-home chef.
You may notice, however, that rarely do these recipes recommend which strains to use. So, to better understand the best types of bud to use for weed-infused food, we asked Canada’s favourite cannabis chefs (all of them winners in Leafly’s Readers’ Choice Awards) to share their favourite strains to bring into the kitchen.
There are two schools of thought:
Chefs who prefer a specific strain
Chef Travis Petersen, founder of the Nomad Cook, a company that prepares cannabis-infused meals for private dinner parties and corporate events, as well as cooking classes and recipes, always considers the terpenes of the bud he uses.
“Both Sundial Lemon Riot and Top Leaf Strawberry Cream have beautiful terpene profiles for cooking,” says Chef Travis, who appeared on MasterChef Canada in 2016.
Strains that have fruity and berry-like terpenes—they are a bit easier to work with as the flavour and aroma are already pleasing and come through nicely when extracting.
Chef Cody Lindsay
John Michael MacNeil, the corporate chef at Zenabis and Namaste, also considers terpenes and how they affect the dish he’s making.
“I like fresh limonene terpenes to complement fresh-cut citrus, especially in appetizer dishes,” says Chef John. “For baking, Pink Kush is great. Its slight bitterness complements dark chocolate and cocoa. Jack Herer is fresh and also bitter, which is great for savoury applications.”
While most chefs have their favourite strains, everyone we spoke with agreed that any strain of cannabis can technically work for cooking, so as long as it’s fresh, quality flower.
“I’m quite flexible in the strains I use,” says Charlotte Langley, a cannabis chef and also the COO at Scout Canning, a Canadian seafood canning company with a focus on sustainability. “For personal consumption, I lean more heavily on the CBD strains for relaxation and stress management, but depending on the client I’m working with, the strains change based on their needs.”
Terpene engagement, she says, comes later in her process, depending on the intended outcome of the dish.
Consider this when choosing strains for cooking
Some strains with off-putting aromas…are a little difficult to work with their flavour profile, but can still be used in different applications.
Chef Cody Lindsay
Some cannabis strains are nearly fool-proof for cooking.
“Strains that have fruity and berry-like terpenes—they are a bit easier to work with as the flavour and aroma are already pleasing and come through nicely when extracting,” says Chef Cody Lindsay. Think strains like Strawberry Cream, Blueberry, and Mango Haze.
And while certain strains don’t have the most appealing aromas or names, that shouldn’t deter you from experimenting either.
“Some strains with off-putting aromas such as Cat Piss, Cheese, and Sour Diesel are a little difficult to work with their flavour profile, but can still be used in different applications, like in our taco with pico de gallo and guacamole recipe,” says Chef Cody. (Note, at the time of writing, Cheese was available on the legal Canadian market. Sour Diesel and Cat Piss were not.)
Regardless of which strain you pick to cook your next meal, when it comes time to eat, always make sure to start low and go slow.
Lisa Felepchuk is a seasoned lifestyle editor, writer and digital nomad based in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.