Most folks’ first memories of edibles involve a transaction from a smelly dude at a festival and the ensuing paranoia of some sketchy brownie. JeffThe420Chef’s dishes deviate as far from that imagery as possible. The man famously makes artisanal weed-infused foods and recently published The 420 Gourmet: The Elevated Art of Cannabis Cuisine. Although both he and that hypothetical festival dealer rely on some sort of THC-laced butter or oil, Jeff’s cannabutter doesn’t taste like skunks or Bonnaroo. Rather, he uses it to make some of the most insane edible recipes we can imagine, from “Blueberry Canna-Coconut Waffles” to “Peppered Avocado & Egg Whites with Spinach on Canna-Buttered French Bread Crostini.”
Every week, we’re going to be sharing a new edible recipe from a well-respected cannabis chef with our readers. To start the column off, our old friend Jeff jumped on the phone with MERRY JANE once again to chat about selecting cooking strains, weed treats for period cramps, and—of course—4/20. He also shared a seasonally-appropriate way to wake and bake. Behold: JeffThe420Chef’s “Canna-Coconut Lime Shamrock Smoothie,” an original recipe he concocted specifically for us. Enjoy!
MERRY JANE: How do you normally spend your Sundays?
JeffThe420Chef: My Sundays are spent early in mornings at the farmer's market, and then I'm usually either cooking for somebody or doing some sort of an event or something. We have a lot of fun stuff going on.
You're already published and have already earned a reputation as “the Julia Child of weed,” so tell me a little bit about what you're working on now.
All I can say is I'm working on my next cookbook that hopefully we’ll [officially] announce before the end of the year. We're also getting ready to launch the Cannabis Cooking Channel, which I own, on April 20. Ultimately it's going to aggregate content from all the chefs out there. Anything having to do with cannabis and cooking, you'll be able to get through the Cannabis Cooking Channel. It will start off online, and then we'll have mobile component to it. After that we're [expanding] to have it on Roku, Android, and Apple TV.
You've obviously been cooking with weed for a while. Can you tell me a little bit what you think people tend to get wrong about cooking with pot?
First off, I feel that when people cook with pot, they really need to understand what they're cooking with. It's not just cooking with weed. It doesn't work that way. It's easy to say, "Oh, you know, I can cook with weed." At the end of the day, if you don't know whether or not you're cooking with an indica or sativa strain to begin with — and if you don't know that strain’s characteristics are and what they can and can't do for you or to you — then you're basically stabbing in the dark.
Before [starting], you need to know what you want to accomplish when you're cooking with cannabis. If you're cooking, for example, to treat insomnia you're gonna wanna cook with a heavy indica strain. If you wanna have a more uplifting, creative moment, or you're hosting a dinner party, you want a little more on the upside, conversation, having a great time — then you wanna cook with sativa.
I cook a lot for people that are ill. That's very much what I love to do [and] I don't charge for it. I really want to be able to be that person that shows them that cannabis really is a medicine and can help you. A lot of women suffer from PMS cramps, or sometimes even something really bad like endometriosis... Certain strains will help those. For example, Harlequin is really good for women's issues. If you wanna cook medicinally, then know what the strain is good for. You can make some great, awesome medicated treats that will really help you.
That makes total sense, like how you would pay attention to Dayquil versus Nyquil.
Yeah. Cooking for pain is different than cooking for alleviating anxiety and stress. You would use different strains for all those things.
How has the internet pushed and pulled the evolution of edibles in general?
It's interesting. I feel like, at least for me, the internet's been really great because I teach people how to do this. My whole mission is to making cooking with cannabis accessible to everybody. Teaching you how to take out the flavor when you make cannabutter and canna-oils so you make great-tasting edibles, as well as teaching people how to dose. That has really given me the voice all around the world, basically, to teach people what I do and to teach people how to do it properly.
If I didn't have the internet, then I would be having to go from house to house and explain to people how I do it and doing appearances here and there. The internet is just posting the right content and then one click of the button — it's accessible to everybody.
JeffThe420Chef’s Canna-Coconut Lime Shamrock Smoothie:
Makes two 8-oz. smoothies
10%: 3.8 mg
15%: 5.9 mg
20%: 7.5 mg
10 ounces coconut milk
½ cup vanilla yogurt
4 teaspoons agave nectar, or 2 teaspoons honey
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 7-10 cannabis leaves
1 teaspoon extra-virgin canna-coconut oil
2 tablespoons shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, your preference)
½ cup ice
1. Place all ingredients into a blender, making sure to place ice on top.
2. Blend for 10 minutes and serve cold.
3. Drink up.
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