Welcome to Psychedelicatessen, a weekly column exploring the world of cannabis cuisine, including recipes from the great chefs and ganjapreneurs who fuel our appetite for adventure.

Perched on a crest above Puget Sound, the ancestral Gig Harbor home of Kush Creams co-founder Megan Schwarting is just about the most beautiful place you can imagine. Deer saunter through the streets, seahawks cruise overhead, whales frolic in the water and the omnipresent hulk of Mount Rainier floats majestically above Tacoma in the distance. It’s one hell of a view from Megan’s front window, where she spends her time at the kitchen table, answering phone calls and conducting the business of her thriving cannabis-infused lotions company with the help of her husband Ben. 

This idyllic hideaway has been in her family since the turn of the century, when Megan’s great-grandfather Henry Moller was awarded the land by President Taft in return for his bravery in saving navy officers from a burning ship off the tip of Africa circa 1889. Megan’s great aunt Elsie Claussen was the first female ferry captain to navigate Puget Sound, along with her grandfather, Henry Moller Junior, also a ferryman. “I take an immense pride in our history and work to instill it in our daughters,” Megan says, “I want them to realize we’ve been here for more than a hundred years.”

Now Megan is heading bravely into uncharted waters of her own with Kush Creams, the most successful cannabis-infused topicals company in Washington State. Ben and Megan had started out as hippies traveling Phish tour in the late 2000s, slinging weed and enjoying the scene, making and collecting concert poster artwork along the way. After starting a family, the cannabis couple decided to focus on topical treatments. “We saw there was a need for lotions,” Megan says, “and we wanted to keep helping patients. When we started Kush Creams, there were only ten access points in Washington.” Megan single-handedly educated many dispensary owners on the benefits on these non-psychoactive body care items, building her business slowly.

Today, Kush Creams are in a whopping 350 dispensaries, and they are currently expanding into a new 7,000-square foot facility. This July, they expect to be bringing a new medical marijuana production online, and will open an 1-502 shop just for flowers. The Kush Creams business includes some cannabis-infused edibles such as Kush Berry gummies and tinctures alongside her diverse product line of signature lotions and body care items. “The gummies are so popular we can’t keep up with them!” Megan exclaims, “It’s come a long way since we were making infused “Funny Honey” and selling it on Dead tour.” So while Megan focuses mainly on topicals, she still finds time to cook for her family every night, sourcing ingredients from her garden as well as the farmer’s markets and fishmongers local to Gig Harbor. “I find using cannabis gives me more patience in the kitchen, so I’m not just rushing to get dinner on the table,” she muses, “I spend more time fully immersed in what I’m doing and enjoy being so present.”

Along with fellow edibles aficionado Alison Draisin of Ettalew’s, I was fortunate enough to be a guest at the Schwarting family homestead for an unforgettable meal. As we dabbed some potent extracts of Head Cheese and quaffed a few local microbrews, Megan displayed her talents as a cook and hostess, treating us to artisanal Mango-Ginger Jam and a smoked Colby jack cheese along with her Eight-Hand Breadsticks (created by Megan and her three daughters), all while prepping the feast to follow. “In the summertime, we host guests almost every weekend,” Megan tells me, “We love to share the beautiful beach house vibe!”

Crafted from the legendary abundance of the Pacific Northwest, this fabulous, healthy menu showcases the sensual delights of cooking and eating while packing a potent punch that will have you soaring as high as a seahawk.

Dank Delights Dinner Menu:

-Kush King Salmon
-Green Bean Summer Salad with Cannabis Croutons
-Wild Thyme Rice

Ingredients:

For the fish:
-2 lbs. wild king salmon, cut into 2 inch strips
-Head of garlic, skin removed and grated
-3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
-Juice of 3 lemons
-½ cup olive oil
-4 teaspoons cannabis-infused olive oil for drizzling

For the salad:
-2 cups day-old bread, cut into cubes
-2 tablespoons cannabutter
-2 lbs organic green beans, ends trimmed
-5 pieces of thick-cut bacon
-3 garlic cloves, grated finely
-Juice of one lemon

For the rice:
-2 tbsp organic liquid bouillion concentrate
-1 cup black pearl rice
-1 cup red wehani rice
-2 cups long grain brown jasmine
-3 tbsp fresh thyme, stemmed and chopped
-5 tbsp virgin butter
-1 tbsp cannabutter or infused olive oil
-Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation:
Begin by getting your rice started, since it takes almost a full hour to simmer.

In a large eight quart stockpot, combine  nine cups water with the liquid bouillon concentrate, all the rice, herbs and virgin butter. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low-medium and cover. Let simmer a full 55 minutes, and enjoy the aromatics of these particular rices. Fluff thoroughly with a fork and serve drizzled with the infused olive oil or cannabutter.

While the rice is cooking, start your salad.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Toss the stale bread cubes with the melted cannabutter. Arrange cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes, until browned. Set aside and let cool. 

Fry the bacon over medium-high heat, patting extra grease off once finished. Set aside until cool and them chop into bite-size pieces.

Wipe out the skillet you used for the bacon and fill it with an inch or two of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add green beans and steam on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.  Strain the excess water out and return beans to pan. Add the grated garlic, lemon juice, chopped bacon, fresh ground salt and pepper and the cannabis croutons. Toss to combine, remove from heat and serve. Drizzle with an extra tablespoon of cannabis-infused olive oil if desired.

While your green beans are steaming, start your salmon. First, preheat the oven or prepare your grill for the fish.

Cut the salmon into portion size pieces. Use tin foil to make portion size trays of foil with small edges to fit under each piece if salmon. (The edge prevents the oils and grease from leaking into your stove and potentially causing a grease fire.) The tin foil also helps keep the salmon moist.

Rub each piece of fish with the organic olive oil, fresh ground salt and pepper, fresh dill and grated garlic. 

Right before you put the fish on the grill or in the oven, add the lemon juice. You don’t want the acidity to begin reacting with the fish until it’s ready to be cooked.

Cook on a nice hot fire over a charcoal grill until the white fat begins to excrete. You can also cook the fish in an oven preheated to 500ºF, then put the salmon one inch under the broiler on high and cook for 10 minutes per inch of fish thickness.

You can easily serve the salmon without the skin, sliding the chunk of meat off, leaving the skin stuck to the foil. 

Enjoy! Stones 4 – 6 adults.