Making marijuana edibles was, at one time, a shot in the dark. “Magic” brownies were perhaps the most well-known and the results were inconsistent; you could end up with cannabis-flavored brownies or a high so strong that it lasts the better part of a day. Indeed, stories of ER visits and tragedies by those who are inexperienced in the use of edibles have appeared in the headlines as of late. Today, we have a much better understanding of what happens to cannabis when it is combined with other ingredients, including heat, and we can better predict the final product.
Despite the horror stories, the conversation is shifting. Celebrity chefs and bakers are embracing the possibilities of cannabis in their creations and the results are promising. By being well-known in their field, these personalities are bringing cannabis mainstream through the basic human necessity of food. Smoking and vaping can be a turn-off to those new to marijuana. However, everyone needs to eat and it appears food may be the medium that can attract those curious about cannabis.
Mario Batali’s history with cannabis is well-documented. For this year’s Super Bowl, Batali provided his very own marijuana brownie recipe. “I’m offering a rocky mountain high option,” Batali said in a note to readers. While those familiar with the process of decarboxylating may see his recipe as rudimentary, it’s a common way of making a baked edible and represents Batali’s roots in the use of cannabis.
Mindy Segal has taken an even larger step towards bringing edibles to the masses. The winner of the James-Beard award winner and author of “Cookie Love” has partnered with Illinois’ largest marijuana producer to develop her own line of medical cannabis edibles. Segal’s partnership with Cresco Labs illustrates a commitment to making edibles with precise dosing and potency, which is critical in order to adhere with Illinois’ relatively new medical marijuana program.
“We’re going to come up with recipes that are portioned and dosed properly,”
“So we’re healing, and that’s the whole idea that we’re healing, making people have appetites, not have pain.”
Legal Colorado cannabis edibles top to bottom: Wana Jewels, Nectarbee Raspberry Fruit Rings, Wana Sour Gummies (image featured in BonAppétit).
The iconic Bon Appétit magazine has been acknowledging marijuana culture by covering trends as well as providing great recipes for canna butter (or as they titled, “T.H.Ghee”). Their feature on edibles covered the idea of single-origin edibles, a concept popular among foodies. In reference to the elevation in quality among edibles, Rochelle Bilow said,
“These days, edibles are being baked with a specific customer in mind: Someone who not only wants to experience the effects of THC, but also someone who cares about where her food comes from, how it’s grown, whether it looks good… and, above all, how it tastes.”
Marijuana culture has been appearing more in mainstream entertainment, and the girls of Broad City are no stranger to the plant. In an online feature for Glamour, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer talk about “goo balls,” a simple cookie that results in a very strong edible experience. Says Jacboson, “It’s kind of like a ball of cereal and some sort of nut butter and weed. It’s like a different kind of pot cookie. It’s so much more of an intense high.”
Cannabis edibles are poised to become better in quality, in strength and in consistency as chefs and tastemakers bring the concept to a wider audience. The origin and quality of food through “foodie” culture has seen a renaissance over the last decade, and marijuana is poised to be an important ingredient in the idea of food as a method of healing and nurturing.