Eating High–Cooking with Cannabis

HT Cannabis Cookbook

In Humboldt County and indeed the entire North Coast of California, cannabis smoking is almost an accepted part of the culture. Cannabis is treated almost as a fine wine–each bud’s flavors, appearance, and, most of all, effects are discussed with passion. But, for most people cannabis as a food has barely been touched on.  High Times editor Elise McDonough seeks to remedy the situation not only for California but for the whole English speaking world.

The High Times Cannabis Cookbook by Elise McDonough states its goal right on the cover–to offer the reader irresistible recipes that will get them high. Inside a variety of recipes compiled from or related to cannabis friendly people and places such as Willie Nelson and Coffeeshop Chocolata in the Netherlands are placed on thick rich creamy pages beside photographs of the delicious looking results.  Each of the recipes has a quick recap of its history and place in the connoisseur’s world. 

Of special note to North Coast residents, there is a drink recipe from Mendocino called Lawnmower because “you’re cutting the grass with Vodka”  and Dr. Courtney’s recipe for raw cannabis juice.*  Also Ed Murrieta, a culinary school graduate who wrote a baking column for the Contra Costa Times and who has also lived in the Emerald Triangle briefly, contributed the recipe for Chewy Cannabis Caramels and Vegan Carrot Muffins.

My favorite part describes the process of what to expect when you are ingesting.  In my admittedly limited experience, eating cannabis can cause the neophyte to panic.  It is good to see sensible eating urged. And to see the truth about the experience calmly addressed.

Those who’ve eaten too much cannabis may feel panicky, anxious, agoraphobic, uncoordinated, or on the verge of a total “freak-out.”…Keep in mind that it is humanly impossible to fatally overdose on cannabis…It is estimated that the amount of THC required to cause a fatal overdose would be …about nine pounds of pure hashish.

If locals take to this book, the occasional pot brownie dessert could be superseded by an astonishing variety of foods–a culinary cannabis feast from Lawnmowers to chewy caramels. I showed this book to a cannabis connoisseur who was immediately entranced by the photos and looking forward to experimenting with cannabis cuisine. 

“I’d pay $100 to attend a feast prepared like this,” he said.  Chefs, take note, a whole new branch of clients could open up to you from this cookbook.


*I didn’t realize until I was reviewing the book that Courtney’s recipe caught McDonough’s attention through an article I wrote for High Times Medical.


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