Here are a few rules for a cannabis culinary escape

In this Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, photo a bok choy plant is lifted up and displayed at Iron Ox, a robotic indoor farm, in San Carlos, Calif. At the indoor farm, robot farmers that roll maneuver through a suburban warehouse tending to rows of leafy, colorful vegetables that will soon be filling salad bowls in restaurants and eventually may be in supermarket produce aisles, too. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

With the legalization of cannabis in Canada, what was once a fragrant activity hidden in the shadows is now fully in the spotlight.

Whether you are an old-school herb enthusiast or newly cannabis curious, legalization created a whole new awareness and interest in the broad scope benefits and diverse strains of cannabis.

When it comes to inhaling, cannabis is fairly straightforward once you have chosen your preferred device. When it comes to ingesting cannabis however, the menu of options grows every day.

Cannabis chef is now a full-time gig on the West Coast for those in the know. Chef Travis Petersen’s cannabis culinary company The Nomad Cook uses an intimate traveling pop-up restaurant to share his knowledge and cannabis-infused cuisine. Red Seal chef John MacNeil, who worked in Michelin-rated restaurants in Europe before returning to Calgary, started reTreat Edibles, which sells baking mixes specially formulated to accommodate the addition of cannabis. (Who doesn’t love a good kitchen shortcut?)

If you’re wanting to create a cannabis culinary escape in your own kitchen, there are a few rules to help keep you satisfied and upright. When incorporating cannabis into a meal, you want to start with pairing your favourite strains with ingredients that complement the herbaceous flavor of cannabis. Look into the flavor profiles of your favourite cannabis. Ask a knowledgeable staff member at your local dispensary for their advice. It’s also very important to understand how ingesting cannabis versus inhaling it will affect you. A carefully curated body stone can lead to an evening of intriguing conversation and peaceful reflection. However, if you consume too much cannabis, your couch will be your home for many ensuing hours. Feeling curious but want to remain cautious? Go low and slow by choosing just one course to incorporate cannabis.

A leafy salad bursting with local colourful veggies, dotted with dabs of soft cheese, and sprinkled with toasted nuts and dried cranberries is a tremendous vessel for a cannabis oil vinaigrette. A side dish of creamy mashed root vegetables gets a kick from a cannabis herb butter. A decadent chocolate fudge brownie drizzled with cannabis-infused ganache is an indulgent final course for your meal.

Our best advice for an overall dope dinner: Skip the alcohol and sip on a fruity sparkling water beverage to stay hydrated. Take the time to really relish the flavours (provided by terpenes, the aromatic oils that form the flavor of a particular strain.) Finally, after ingesting such a decadent dope dinner, you will probably want to soak and save the dishes for the next day.

Summer Dope Salad (serves 2)

On top of a bed of butter lettuce, sprinkle the following:

  • Handful of toasted buttered bread cubes
  • 2 peeled and thinly sliced peaches
  • Half a diced cucumber
  • Pinches of fresh mozzarella
  • Half a cup toasted and chopped pecans

Top with a few grinds of salt & pepper, shredded cilantro and diced scallions to taste.

Finally, drizzle your cannabis vinaigrette over top, toss gently and serve.

Brooke Takhar is British Columbia writer.