Marijuana Brownies Meet Haute Cuisine: California Cannabis Cooking's Renaissance

Move over, hash brownies: it's time for haute cannabis cuisine.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Forget brownies. How about marijuana-infused ahi?

    Cooking with medical cannabis is nothing new, not for Californians nor for anyone who's attended a jam band concert anytime over the past 40-plus years (goo balls, anyone?).

    But now, marijuana cooking has gone mainstream, according to the East Bay Express. The first-ever High Times Cannabis Cookbook will be released on Friday, just in time for April 20, the newspaper reported. The 50 recipes will "challenge top chefs" as well as amateurs, the newspaper reported.

    It's perhaps no coincidence that this mainstreaming -- the Los Angeles Times's Pulitzer-winning food critic recently wrote of a nine-course gourmet meal that included raw yellowtail tuna and compressed watermelon, all infused with cannabis -- comes at the same time the federal government is conducting a coordinated crackdown. The feds say that individual patients are not priorities, but that "pot shops" must be stopped.

    This could be a "tacit endorsement" of the recipes proffered by the cookbooks, the newspaper postulated. "There's too many people to go after individuals," said High Times cookbook author Elise McDonough, in comments to the newspaper. "We want people to be able to be self-sufficient, we want them to have information to do it correctly, safely, and have it be delicious as well."

    The movement could also improve the medicinal offerings -- known as "edibles" -- available for purchase on dispensaries' shelves. Cookies, cakes, and treats made with Fruity Pebbles? Sacramento chef Ed Murrieta, who wrote some of the recipes in the book, thinks pot users can do much better.

    What about Vegan Cannabis Carrot Muffins and Chewy Cannabis Caramels, or Wake and Bake Eggnog French Toast and Granny's Ganja Smoked Mac 'n' Cheese? It's a brave new world, and former smokers are cooking in it.