Recently, the archetype of “stoner chef ” has gained traction in pop culture, and when you watch these cannabis-friendly cooks ply their trade, it becomes pretty obvious that they find their inspiration by taking breaks from the heat in the kitchen to go outside and spark up a jay. And why not? Cannabis is a sensual enhancer that fits seamlessly into the foodie lifestyle, heightening the entire experience, from selecting produce to cooking, plating and eating (and maybe even washing the dishes).
An exclusive excerpt from The Official HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cookbook by Elise McDonough & the editors of HIGH TIMES
But what is stoner cuisine? The mainstream media would jeer that it’s nonstop gorging on low-quality snack foods like cheesy poofs, potato chips and candy bars, but in reality these stoner chefs most often express themselves by reimagining traditional foods and fusing formerly foreign flavors together in new, fun ways. Sometimes stoner cuisine is simply stuff you eat only when you’re stoned (grilled Nutella and banana panini), but at the highest level, it’s really about the recipes that are created while stoned, including unusual food combinations that sound strange at first but then turn out to be wonderful.
In The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook, we’ve attempted to present all facets of this new “stoner-style cuisine,” a lifestyle that balances healthy choices like raw juice and meatless meals with occasional decadence in the form of melted cheese and rich desserts.
The primary psychoactive components of cannabis are fat-soluble, meaning the molecules that produce highness bind onto any sort of lipid, including whole milk, butter, cream or coconut, olive, or vegetable oil. In these “phatty” forms, THC and other cannabinoids can most easily absorb into the bloodstream, thus providing you with the strongest possible psychoactive effect from your stash. It also means you should never, ever, simply add your precious cannabis directly into some brownie mix and call it a day. Without binding the THC to a fat molecule in a compound like cannabutter, most of the effect will be lost, leading to wasted time, wasted herb and bunk brownies.
The key chemical reaction involved in doing it right takes place when cannabis is combined with your chosen fat and heated at a low temperature (200ºF to 250ºF ) for no less than twenty minutes, and ideally up to an hour or more, stirring often. Long-held hippie wisdom dictates simmering the butter or oil for up to eight hours, but this is difficult to accomplish without a Crock-Pot. Anyway, after sixty minutes you can rest assured that most of the THC molecules will have left the plant matter and migrated to the butter or oil. The process is called “decarboxylation,” which describes a chemical reaction that converts non-psychoactive THC acid found in the raw plant into psychoactive THC. Cooking cannabis over high heat for too long will degrade the THC, hurting potency, which makes using a double boiler or Crock-Pot vital.
After you’ve infused your butter or oil, strain it carefully to discard all the cannabis fiber and particulate matter – it’s no good for anything but compost. Cannabis fiber in the form of fresh raw leaf or crispy cooked leaf will irritate sensitive stomachs and may be difficult to digest due to microscopic hairs on the surface of the leaf called cystoliths.
The biggest difference between eating pot and smoking it is the intensity and type of high that results. Eating cannabis brings on a more physical sensation, or “body high,” which soothes sore muscles, eases pain, aids relaxation and fights insomnia, while providing feelings of warmth and pleasant tingling. Edibles can also produce a powerfully psychedelic euphoria, which can last much longer than the typical high from smoking.
Always keep in mind that everyone’s tolerance is different, and individuals respond to ingesting cannabis in different ways. Usually, you will not feel any results immediately after eating cannabis, since it needs to be digested to take effect, a process that can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours depending on how much you ingest, and whether it’s on a full or empty stomach. So start with a small serving and do not eat any more pot food for at least an hour after the first serving.
Those who’ve eaten too much cannabis may feel panicky, anxious, agoraphobic, uncoordinated or on the verge of a total “freak-out.” Fear of “losing it entirely” has also been reported. Should this happen to you, retreat to a safe place to lie down, dim the lights, breathe deeply, drink plenty of fluids, eat non-pot food, and distract yourself by listening to your favorite music or watching a movie you like. Most probably, you’ll end up napping, and in a few hours all the uncomfortable feelings will have subsided.
Keep in mind that it is humanly impossible to fatally overdose on cannabis, even if you’ve just eaten an entire birthday cake frosted with cannabis butter-cream. It’s estimated that the amount of THC required to cause a fatal overdose would be four million milligrams, or about nine pounds of pure hashish – and you definitely didn’t eat nearly that much, or you wouldn’t be able to read this sentence.
Stuffed Stoned Jalapeño Poppers
These stoner treats were born when a particularly robust jalapeño pepper plant grown on my New York City rooftop burst forth with a bounty of 20 peppers. While partaking of a nice joint and relaxing on the same rooftop, inspiration struck: peppers, peanut butter and pot! The peanut butter tempers the heat of the peppers, and the herb gets you high – what more can you ask for from something this easy to make? So amuse your bouche and try these one-bite wonders!
1⁄4 cup green onions, white parts only, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut off the tops of the jalapeños and reserve them. Use a small knife to remove as
much of the pith and seeds as possible. You want hollow peppers that can hold the stuffing. Rinsing out the inside of the pepper with water is a good way to remove the seeds.
Warm a small saucepan over medium heat and add the THC oil. Let the oil warm for about 30 seconds, then add the green onions and cook for 1 minute. Then add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the peanut butter and stir, adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of water as needed to thin the consistency. The sauce should be easy to stir. Remove from heat.
Use a spoon, piping bag or a small funnel to fill the jalapeños with the peanut butter sauce. Fit the pepper tops back on and secure with a toothpick. (Soak your toothpicks in water first.)
Place peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm.
Note: You may want gloves to handle the peppers, but if you don’t wear gloves, be careful not to touch your eyes after handling the peppers. Wash your hands and the cutting board immediately and thoroughly after handling peppers. Stones 10
Cheeto Fried Chicken
(Recipe from Eddie Huang)
We got this far-out recipe from notorious Lower East Side chef Eddie Huang. A friend of HIGH TIMES, Huang is legendary for his bad-boy chef antics, which include allegedly hot-boxing his Taiwanese bun shop BaoHaus after partying late one night, and serving the banned caffeinated malt liquor Four Loko at his restaurant Xiao Ye. When asked by the New York Observer why Xiao Ye was the only bar in New York selling Four Loko, Huang answered, “We’re dedicated to getting people wasted for cheap.” The riotous all-you-can-drink Four Loko parties ultimately led to several raids on Huang’s joint, which closed in late 2010 after being hit with hefty fines. You can still visit BaoHaus in the Lower East Side, but don’t ask when the next hot-box session will happen. We’re hoping Eddie kicked the Four Loko in favor of the green herb that inspired this stonerrific recipe!
5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
6 tablespoons kosher salt
1⁄4 cup chili powder
31⁄2tablespoons garlic powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 six-ounce bags Cheetos Crunchy
8 cups THC oil (for frying the cut chicken into 4-ounce pieces)
Using a mallet, flatten the pieces into cutlets without breaking the flesh. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk, kosher salt, chili powder and garlic powder. Add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.
Remove the chicken and transfer to another large bowl. To this bowl, add the beaten egg and cornstarch. Use your hands to coat the chicken well. Set aside.
Now, take the Cheetos and crush them until there are no lumps. Do this by opening the bag, letting out the air and then pounding the Cheetos with a mallet until they are finely textured crumbs.
Transfer the Cheetos to a pan and roll the individual chicken cutlets in them until well coated.
Fry the coated chicken in THC oil at 335 F for 5 to 6 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Drain the chicken on paper towels and serve warm. Stones 8
Bonghitters’ Mota Mojito
Masters of the “infield high rule,” the legendary HIGH TIMES Bonghitters softball team takes the fields of New York’s Central Park as the tokin’ terrors of the citywide publishing league. Annually pitted against media powerhouses like Playboy, Rolling Stone, The Onion, and the New Yorker, our beloved Bonghitters rely on their trademark “rally joints” to inspire the team to new heights of hitting and fielding, while intimidating opponents into making errors whenever the sweet smell of natural grass wafts over from the dugout.
As far as the post-game celebration goes, the Bonghitters have adopted the mojito as their signature libation, specifically those prepared by Central Park’s legendary “Mojito Man,” who makes the rounds on bicycle, dispensing cold beverages to everyone chilling in the park. A HIGH TIMES fan for sure, the Mojito Man surprised the Bonghitters with this special, cannabis-infused Mota-jito drink to celebrate a big victory over archrival the Wall Street Journal and even shared the recipe so you can celebrate at home!
A fun twist on an old classic, add some mota to your mojitos! The buzz is sublime, and the sugar and lime compliment the cannabis flavor nicely. Some people heat the alcohol or let the ganja steep for at least three weeks, but even the lowest heat burns off alcohol quickly, and letting any herb steep too long results in bitterness.
375 milliliters cannabis-infused rum
4 tablespoons sugar
Juice of 4 key limes
Half-liter soda water
8 sprigs of mint
Small cannabis fan leaves, for garnish (optional)
In a blender, combine the rum, sugar and lime juice and blend on low for 30 seconds. Add soda water and stir.
Prepare four 13-ounce glasses by muddling 2 sprigs of mint in the bottom of each glass, crushing and mashing them thoroughly. Fill each glass halfway with crushed ice.
Pour the contents of the blender over the ice to fill each glass. Garnish with a pot leaf, if desired. Salud! Stones 4
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