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The DINE Cookbook Club – Volume II: The Best Cannabis Cookbooks

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

April 1, 2019, marked the day when Ontario became the last Canadian province to allow  retail sales of cannabis. For that occasion, we want to introduce you to our favourite cannabis cookbooks. With millions of people in Canada now having curbside access to cannabis, the question arises on how to consume it. If cannabis wishes to become a mainstream product rivaling alcohol, smoking the plant material will probably not remain the preferred way of intake. While it is the easiest and quickest way to reap the benefits, combustion through smoking can create irreparable damage to the body.

Many see the future of cannabis in vaping, topicals, and edibles. Vaping might still resemble smoking too much, and apart from that, just isn’t that cool. Topicals, namely health and beauty products are already widely sold in the United States and will capture  significant market share among new and non-users. The last sector with enormous potential for growth is edibles. In Canada, commercially produced edibles are not available yet. If you want to enjoy THC or CBD with your food intake, you have to make it yourself. If you are a novice, check out our Culinary Road to 4/20 for easy recipe ideas. For the more adventurous among you, here are our favourite cannabis cookbooks.

For Beginners:

Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis – by Laurie Wolf and Melissa Parks

Herb is probably the first cannabis cookbook you should get for your collection. The recipes as a whole are probably not the easiest out there. But, from a cannabis cooking point of view, they are all based on infused oil and/or butter. The book, contrary to competitors, covers everything from appetizers to desserts and is beautifully photographed. The recipes are so good, that you could perfectly well make them without the cannabis component. Famed cookbook author and DINE favourite Michael Ruhlman calls Herb: “The authoritative volume on how to cook with cannabis.”

 

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The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Feel-Good Food for Home Cooks – by Robyn Griggs Lawrence

This cookbook, since its publication four years ago, has established itself as a must-have among aspiring cannabis chefs. It features a long introductory section, where Griggs Lawrence introduces the chefs that lent her their recipes, and discusses the intricacies of buying, identifying and cooking with cannabis. Compared to the aforementioned Herb, the Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook includes more ways of infusing cannabis into other foods beyond oil and butter. It is also a good cookbook for science and trivia fans, clearly listing the dosage per serving in every recipe, and contributing interesting facts about cannabis interacting with certain foods. The latter could prove especially useful in future pub quizzes.

 

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The OG

The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook – by the editors of High Times Magazine

We all learn at an early age to respect our elders. The New York Times is widely known under the moniker “the Paper of Record”. For seasoned participants and supporters of the cannabis subculture, High Times is the “Magazine of Record”. Around since the mid-1970s, the magazine was initially supposed to be a single-issue spoof on Playboy. Because of the euphoric response to the publication, they just kept going. Until today however, High Times still pays homage to Playboy by having a cannabis centre-fold. Its popularity is astonishing, at times rivalling the circulation of Rolling Stone and the National Lampoon.

But let’s talk about High Times’ cannabis cookbook. It is not the most culinarily refined work out there. You could make the argument, that it is sometimes reminiscent of elevated stoned dorm cooking. However, respect the veterans, High Times has not only paid its dues in this industry, it was fundamental in creating it.

 

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To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

We promised in our last DINE Cookbook Club column, that we would pay more attention to the bakers and dessert enthusiasts among you. Arguably cannabis cuisine started with, and for a long time was confined to cakes and cookies. These following cannabis cookbooks are sure to elevate your skills beyond your roommate’s basic pot-brownie.

Sweet Mary Jane – by Karin Lazarus

Karin Lazarus runs Sweet Mary Jane, a cannabis-themed bakery in Boulder, Colorado. This cookbook is for the more skilled confectioners and bakers among us. The book looks fantastic and the recipes make Lazarus a leader in this space. Don’t want to take our word for it, maybe try New York Magazine, who called Lazarus “the Martha Stewart of Weed Baking.”

 

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Edibles: Small Bites for the Modern Cannabis Kitchen – by Stephanie Hua with Coreen Carroll  

This relative newcomer on the scene is not strictly speaking a dessert cannabis cookbook. Most recipes however, swing in that direction and we want to include it here. Author Stephanie Hua left a marketing job on Wall Street to pursue the culinary arts. At school she met co-author Coreen Carroll. Hua’s job as a confectioner for a marshmallow company makes her definitely worthy of being in this category. Similarly to the Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, Edibles features a substantial and well-defined introductory section that discusses dosage, potency, effects, terminology and techniques. All of the recipes are purposefully low dose and geared towards novices. In our eyes, an immediate success. 

 

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New Kids on the Block

To round out this collection, we’d like to show off two relatively new books in the realm of cannabis cooking. Both have notable former Vice Media talent attached to it, however, only one is actually distributed by them.

Bong Appetit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed – by the editors of Munchies

This cannabis cookbook is based on the Munchies and Viceland show of the same name. At one time cancelled and now rebooted as a cook-off show, the Bong Appetit would focus on a specific culinary culture or occasion and prepare a feast containing high-end edibles. In the book recipes are sourced from the Munchies test kitchen and from many well-known chefs, whose recipes were reworked to contain cannabis. We were saddened by the sudden demise of the old show, but it is endlessly entertaining and available on Viceland and YouTube. The new season started last night April 2, 2019, with new hosts.

 

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Stoned Beyond Belief – by Action Bronson with Rachel Wharton 

We are breaking the rules here. This is explicitly not a cannabis cookbook. Author, rapper, tv host, chef and cannabis aficionado Action Bronson, who is currently on publicity tour to promote Stoned Beyond Belief, has repeatedly stated that he doesn’t mess with edibles. A follow up work to his inaugural cookbook F*ck That’s Delicious, this book is about Bronson’s love for cannabis and contains recipes for foods/munchies you should consume once you are stoned beyond belief. Definitely worth a look and definitely serviceable as an interesting coffee table book.

 

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We also want to feature an honourable mention here: Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics – by Warren Bobrow. There is a growing trend of infusing cocktails and other libations with cannabis. At DINE, we don’t explicitly promote mixing intoxicating substances. Mainly, because the we don’t understand the interaction quite yet, and because home-cooking with cannabis is so hard to dose. Since this book also has recipes for mocktails and tonics, we feel comfortable sharing it with you, should you want to check it out.

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Kevin Sachs

Written by Kevin Sachs

Kevin Sachs was born and raised in Zurich, Switzerland. As a former broadcast journalist for SRF, his previous works were featured in Haaretz, Le Matin, Tagesanzeiger, Süddeutsche Zeitung and AWE Magazine. With his passion for all things food and travel, it was only a matter of time until he ended up at DINE Magazine.

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