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Eating the High Life
July 2, 2012 5:35 PM   Subscribe

"Legalizing pot would, in addition to engendering medical miracles and rendering moot a large sector of illegal-drug-related crimes, allow quantum leaps in the world of cooking. Maybe if we all pray really hard to Jah, pot will one day infiltrate snooty haute cuisine and local artisanal eateries alike, all over America." GQ reports on some incredible edibles.

If you enjoyed Jesse Pearson's foray into the intersection of gourmands and potheads, and fancy finding yourself at similar juncture, GQ has graciously provided four pages of recipes as well.
posted by Chipmazing (64 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
America spearheads the R&D of partying. Just think. Togas were Roman. But Toga parties? American. The beer bong? That was us, too. And while the Germans may have synthesized MDMA, we named it Ecstasy. But there is one place where we've really dropped the ball—the pot brownie. It was born, we like to believe, on some karmically auspicious day—probably in the '60s, perhaps on Haight Street—when an as-yet-unrecognized Great American took a few stray kind buds and, like an ape discovering that a bone could be a weapon, plopped them into a pan of gooey brown batter. Eureka.

Bhang has been around for 3000 years.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:38 PM on July 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


To be fair if you .....know people inside the world of Brooklyn high gourmandry on the side of the producers then THC-laden elegant deserts where the inherit flavor of the strains make say, a batch of chocolate even better. And more interesting.

If you're into that kind of thing.
posted by The Whelk at 5:39 PM on July 2, 2012


"And in other news: great ways to work Zantac and other medicines into your cooking ideas. More after the break."
posted by andreaazure at 5:43 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was born, we like to believe, on some karmically auspicious day—probably in the '60s, perhaps on Haight Street—when an as-yet-unrecognized Great American took a few stray kind buds and, like an ape discovering that a bone could be a weapon, plopped them into a pan of gooey brown batter. Eureka.

Or perhaps someone read the recipe that Brion Gysin contributed to The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, published in 1954.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:45 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


If my mouth wasn't dry from pipesmoke, it would be watering from that article.
posted by sarastro at 5:46 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


America spearheads the R&D of partying. Just think. Togas were Roman. But Toga parties? American.

Not to pile on, but jeez that's pretty bad even as a simple rhetorical flourish. This dude never hear of a bacchanalia?
posted by darkstar at 5:46 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I fail to see how any meal can be improved by being high 30 minutes after you've finished.
posted by rcdc at 5:48 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


If they make pot legal in the US I'm going to move to Amsterdam in protest.
posted by mullicious at 5:49 PM on July 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


I can practically smell taste the spilled bong water.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 5:49 PM on July 2, 2012


I fail to see how any meal can be improved by being high 30 minutes after you've finished.

Sometimes I feel really alien and remote from other people.
posted by The Whelk at 5:50 PM on July 2, 2012 [44 favorites]


From personal experience, spices — hot peppers, particularly — can cause the limbs to tingle in the most pleasant ways, once the burn has subsided. In a way, I am a bit jealous of the generations to come who, as the tide of prohibition subsides, will get to experience cooking that includes ingredients that are now illegal, much like flavoring liquors were nearly hundred years ago. Beyond taste, there are sensations that professional chefs could provide, a way to create a new dimension of cooking, going beyond the technical reductionism in molecular gastronomy to the systemic and deeply personal understanding of how people enjoy their senses. Cooking as a true art form.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:50 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've heard from friends that:

Pot is an herb that has a really unique flavor and can really enhance or totally ruin a lot of foods. It's a shame that people always stick with brownies - they often taste like shit and come out so greasy that you feel sick eating them. Chocolate in general I've always thought of as a weird weed pairing, except in some cases, such as fondue and ice cream.

Pot pizza is really great. That yogurt recipe looks especially fantastic. Hummus is pretty great, curries are great (especially if you cook the pot into the coconut milk or coconut oil). Pot coleslaw is not as bad as you think.

Pot beer is really quite fantastic, as the weed pairs well with the hops (using extract to pot-ify foods and beverages without fats opens a whole new world, or so I'm told).
posted by Lutoslawski at 5:54 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


SOME PEOPLE HAVE TOLD ME, that you're good using pot as a flavoring in places where you would use Basil. It's amazing added to popcorn (potcorn?) and as mentioned, in pizzas or bologese or mixed into green tea ice cream.
posted by The Whelk at 5:55 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


and the chocolate-pot thing works better the more bitter the chocolate is, then herby tang helps offset it, a lot like in beer.

OR SO I HAVE HEARD
posted by The Whelk at 5:56 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I was in college 20 something years ago, a friend and I brewed a beer that was "dry hopped" with pot. We called it "Bud". Quite tasty actually.
posted by Eekacat at 5:57 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I HAVE HEARD that an eye dropper full of pot-extract in a mid-shelf gin or bourbon over a little ice is tasty and a bit of a ride.
posted by Lutoslawski at 5:59 PM on July 2, 2012


PEOPLE CAN ASSUME, that adding the same about to Chartesque would make the herbal flavor go over the top and turn it into a magic potion more than a drink.
posted by The Whelk at 6:02 PM on July 2, 2012


Firecrackers are my favorite.

Here's the thing with weed and cooking though, being high on pot makes everything taste really good. I don't think this is an illusion, you sense the tastes in higher resolution and can really enjoy them more. So, vaporize a bit before you start cooking!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:02 PM on July 2, 2012


I like how when you eat rather than smoke.. it's the same every time.

"damn, I wonder if I didn't eat enough? I think I'll go get anoth.. whoaaaaaaa"

I do think the herb-y flavor naturally lends itself well to Italian dishes. but I can easily imagine a burger, with infused butter crusted on the outside. that could easily be enough dose for one person and a scalable solution for a dinner party.

just thinking right now.. oh man I have so many ideas. I'll be back .. later.. yeah.
posted by ninjew at 6:10 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was surprised to find not a mention of or nod to Alice B. Toklas.
posted by gilrain at 6:10 PM on July 2, 2012


you're good using pot as a flavoring in places where you would use Basil.

Even pesto? Man, that would be some damn expensive pesto.
posted by LionIndex at 6:24 PM on July 2, 2012


Nice recipes... I guess a lot of people are making $$$$ by keeping weed illegal so it is an uphill battle.

It will be great to cook and also utilize hemp products.. much better, less expensive to produce, and fast replenishing supply of paper products. Also we will get proper shichimi tōgarashi (Japanese seven spice), when hemp seed is allowed into the US.
posted by snaparapans at 6:29 PM on July 2, 2012


I made some ganja butter back in the day, and boy did that stink up the house*. The butter (actually it was margarine, works just as good) was green and even when chilled, did not smell pleasant. Also, ingesting the stuff was always a crapshoot to me; I would either eat too much and be really, really stoned. Or I wouldn't eat enough and would want to eat more, causing the former reaction to happen.

*Recipe for those curious--take a whole stick of butter (or two sticks if you've got a lot of weed) or a whole container of margarine and put in a saucepan. Take your weed and crumble it down to teeny tiny bits, though this isn't terribly important. At least break it up a bit. Melt the butter to a low simmer and add in the weed. Cover and simmer on low low low heat for a while. A half hour? An hour? I forget. No, not cause I was stoned haha, I just don't remember. After a half hour the THC molecules will have bonded with the fat from the butter. Pour the liquid back into a container and strain the weed out with a cloth--cheesecloth if you've got it. The buds are toast, flush em down the toilet. You'll want to--they will smell terrible. Put the butter container in the fridge to cool and set and that's it! Spread on whatever for a little kick.
posted by zardoz at 6:31 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rosemary-garlic-weed Brazilian cheese bread. I'm just sayin'.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:43 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I fail to see how any meal can be improved by being high 30 minutes after you've finished.

I fail to see how any meal couldn't be improved by being high 30 minutes after you've finished.

FTFY
posted by floam at 6:53 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


The butter (actually it was margarine, works just as good)
We're talking about legalizing marijuana, not legalizing poor taste.
posted by telegraph at 6:54 PM on July 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


zardoz, you can also do that same thing with cooking oils. some are better suited than others. I did that for a batch of brownies and it helps a bit with the flavor. could also see doing that for olive oil and sesame oil.

butter is a bit more fragile. the oil doesn't really burn. so there's a bit of tolerance for other styles of cooking.
posted by ninjew at 6:57 PM on July 2, 2012


Pancakes.
posted by The otter lady at 7:31 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Use a double boiler and you won't have to strain or run the risk of overheating...or so I've heard.
posted by malocchio at 7:31 PM on July 2, 2012


I always think the culture around pot in America is amazing. Can you imagine a GQ article about how to decorate your house with all the stuff you've burgled from other people? And long jokey woo burglary MeFi threads? People would be calling the police and there'd be news stories about those insane stupid people who openly discussed burglarizing others on the internet, and are now in jail

But the drug war is like a huge national lie. Oh yeah, drugs are illegal. But only illegal for the wrong people at the wrong time. People someone in the government already wanted an excuse to harass and imprison

100 people an hour are arrested - are we to assume that reflects the level of danger this plant poses to America?
posted by crayz at 7:37 PM on July 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


Err...actually you still have to strain.
posted by malocchio at 7:37 PM on July 2, 2012


butter is a bit more fragile. the oil doesn't really burn.

That's why the best way to make butter is to put it in a saucepan with three times the water, bring to a low boil to melt, add the ground up shake. Let simmer covered for one hour, strain carefully while warm. Stick the butter and water mixture in the fridge under the butter solidifies on top. All fat soluble stuff has collected in the butter, and the water soluble stuff goes away. It tastes slightly more refined/less nasty, and you don't end up with bits of herb in the butter. You also never end up burning it.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:37 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


This needz 2 happen allo the time.
posted by latkes at 7:53 PM on July 2, 2012


OK, so wait, if Bhang is illegal where marijuana is illegal, does that mean it's available in a gigantic, multicultural city where medical marijuana usage is legal? Should someone with legal capability for procurement of marijuana have a desire to medicate with it?
posted by carsonb at 7:54 PM on July 2, 2012


IT SEEMS TO ME THAT the real value of cannabis is enhancing the pleasure one takes in cooking in general.

FOR EXAMPLE, one might have just, in a properly enhanced state, cooked a cremini mushroom, red onion, and mozzarella omelet, finished by searing the filling and cheese under the broiler (breaking in a new omelet pan, the omelet shell as thin as a crepe), a modest crust of baguette on the side. For dessert, simple but perfect: strawberry and apricot slices over vanilla frozen yogurt.

The only problem MIGHT come at the moment where one had to decide between cooking something tasty like that, which really would take all of 20 minutes, and eating an entire bag of jalapeño-flavored potato chips instead. RIGHT NOW.

But of course this is mere speculation.
posted by spitbull at 7:56 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I enjoy the hard work type of cooking more if I'm high. When you tune up your senses of taste and smell you appreciate the stuff the extra effort brings out in the food.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:22 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I will stand (somewhat rubber legged) by the baklava that I've been treating myself too for the last few weeks. Or the ice cream...there are many many recipes that benefit from a well prepared herbal additive.
posted by djseafood at 8:36 PM on July 2, 2012


crayz writes "I always think the culture around pot in America is amazing. Can you imagine a GQ article about how to decorate your house with all the stuff you've burgled from other people? And long jokey woo burglary MeFi threads? People would be calling the police and there'd be news stories about those insane stupid people who openly discussed burglarizing others on the internet, and are now in jail"

There is a pretty simple break between victim and victimless crimes. So murder, rape, burglary, arson, etc are obviously bad and copyright and recreational drugs are nudge, nudge bad and lots of people have no problem copping to breaking those laws. IE the former are immoral and the latter aren't.
posted by Mitheral at 8:45 PM on July 2, 2012


I thought you couldn't even get high from straight-eating Marijuana without it being simmered in some fat first (like butter tea or, for example, brownies)?
posted by Malice at 8:53 PM on July 2, 2012


My favorite bit:
They had been cooked in Roberta's outdoor wood-burning oven, and the crust was rustic, browned, and crispy. Roberta's first became famous for the quality of its pizza, and these more than lived up to the legacy—with the added bonus of weed. In this course, the pot blended with its fellow ingredients so subtly that I had to remind myself not to have too many slices. It occurred to me how efficient this was: Most stoners have to smoke their weed and then eat their pizza. Here we were, revolutionaries, doing both at once.
posted by letitrain at 9:14 PM on July 2, 2012


from the linked article: "—probably in the '60s, perhaps on Haight Street—when an as-yet-unrecognized Great American took a few stray kind buds and, like an ape discovering that a bone could be a weapon, plopped them into a pan of gooey brown batter."
Those with no knowledge of history ...
posted by Cranberry at 11:05 PM on July 2, 2012


Yeah, that's a real failure to research there. Didn't they know about the Alice B. Toklas cookbook?
posted by dunkadunc at 11:08 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


New Zealand suffers from the scourge known as "Fusion Cuisine". Mostly, this consists of third-rate restaurant cooks committing self-conscious food crime with lemongrass , but the most genuine and interesting "fusion" experience I have had was a result of the combination of stoner culture and our strong tradition of bringing home-baking to share at events.
A lavish spread of cakes, slices, extravagant cold puddings like trifle and pavlova, were the backbone of every rural social gathering and the source of house-wifely rivalry for generations, "Ladies, a plate" may be dying out now, but even I can whip up a batch of perfect scones or pikelets if the need to assert myself as an Alpha Female arises.
Take for granted that we have plenty of the drumming circle element and a great climate for the production of marijuana and you have the background.

I ate SIX of those wonderful home-made louise slices, with the home-bottled raspberry jam, and marshmallow, and toasted coconut lovingly sprinkled on the top, which that dear old grandmother was passing about, before it hit me that the base was made with hash butter.

Now that's what I call subversive.

(I might have noticed sooner, if I hadn't already had so much 'mushies 'n' milo'.)
posted by Catch at 12:16 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


cool story bro
posted by Catch at 12:23 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Quantum leaps? Why would anyone care about leaps so small?
posted by Knigel at 12:31 AM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


The whole weed+pizza thing is everywhere in South East Asia (Cambodia and Laos especially), just look out for the "happy pizza" signs, I've seen menus in Cambodia that proclaim: "make any item happy for $1!". And as mentioned above bhang in India is widely available, and has been for thousands of years.
posted by nfg at 3:56 AM on July 3, 2012


If I could actually afford weed, I might try a bit of cooking with it.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:12 AM on July 3, 2012


That's how I feel about food.
posted by spitbull at 6:30 AM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, when I was teenager my mom and I were watching a documentary and it showed cannabis plants in the wild of southeast Asia. Well, mom says, "Oh, that makes a great chicken dish." She proceeds to pull out her wallet and gives me $3 and tells me to get her half a pound at the supermarket. As I am staring at the $3 I say to her, "Ma, I am going to need more than three dollars." My mother looks a bit disgruntled and gives me two more dollars. I then have to proceed to explaining that half a pound of marijuana costs way more than five dollars. This conversation then proceeds from the high cost of living in the US to how marijuana is illegal in the United States. My mother in annoyance, and frustration blurts out, "Dumb, Americans!" She then tells me to get her bean sprouts instead.
posted by jadepearl at 6:52 AM on July 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


If they did ever legalize it, I'm not sure I want to see what Wylie Dufresne would do with it. (I mean: look what he did with eggs benedict.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:53 AM on July 3, 2012


If they did ever legalize it, I'm not sure I want to see what Wylie Dufresne would do with it.

I have no doubt that the molecular gastronimists have done experiments with several illegal substances.. not something they would be broadcasting though as they are already under scrutiny by the regulators (law) for pushing the envelope. Also, they have their reputation to consider.
posted by snaparapans at 7:24 AM on July 3, 2012


What if you could combine two of the mightiest American indulgences—comfort food and reefer—in one meal?

I'm about as pro-legalization as you get but my God, it's not like fighting this obesity epidemic isn't hard enough already.
posted by nanojath at 7:37 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe this is just a personal-perception thing, but I feel like it's wasteful to cook with anything but the schwaggiest of schwag. But (serious first-world problem) I have trouble finding stuff that bad (read: cheap) these days.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:41 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe this is just a personal-perception thing, but I feel like it's wasteful to cook with anything but the schwaggiest of schwag. But (serious first-world problem) I have trouble finding stuff that bad (read: cheap) these days.

Yeah, I suspect edibles are most delicious with good, fresh weed. I have heard that some people tend to go for economical ingestion-- grind it in a grinder with a kief catcher, vaporize it, turn the vaped weed into edibles. Consequently, an acquaintance of mine has developed a huge aversion to the vaped weed/chocolate combo--she can barely choke it down. Her partner, on the other hand, thinks her brownies are completely delicious. shrug

I was hopeful that I could send her some recipes, but there's probably no getting around the smell and taste of ABV.
posted by Baethan at 7:52 AM on July 3, 2012


Man, bean sprouts are dangerous.
posted by spitbull at 9:04 AM on July 3, 2012


Maybe this is just a personal-perception thing, but I feel like it's wasteful to cook with anything but the schwaggiest of schwag.

My fondest wish is to find someone who is willing to part with a big bag of just stems. Hasn't happened yet, though. (If Texas had medical marijuana, I'd have a card in about five seconds. Noting else touches the RA in any reasonable amount of time.)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:07 AM on July 3, 2012


Smoking's just fine (I've been told), but I don't do well with the edibles.

I (don't) fondly remember guest DJ'ing a relatively small apartment party some years ago. This wasn't precise beat-matching, holding-the-headphone-over-one-ear stuff; just providing pleasant background and changing songs every 3-5 minutes. Simple enough that I figured consuming a "brownie" beforehand would not hinder my emceeability.

The setup was pretty straightforward: an iPod, portable CD player and a turntable running through a mixer. Three inputs, three volume knobs and limited physical media to swap in and out. I familiarized myself with the knobs and such, and queued up a few low-key songs. Things had been going OK, until like the third or fourth song - where I really started to lose my grip. I was staring catlike at the little red strobe light thingy that tells you the turntable speed, and I changed it during a song just to see the strobes rejigger themselves. Pretty sure some partygoers glanced at me, but paranoia began creeping hard. I threw on the iPod as the song on the LP was fading out, but I forgot to turn down the turntable volume so the party was greeted by one of those ugly record screeches.

It became clear, when trying to put the LP back in the sleeve that my arms had turned to rubber, and weren't doing what my brain was trying to tell them to do. I finally got the record away and picked out another one, eased up the volume and got the next song going. Then, I just stared at the array of input devices that seemed so manageable before all those darn fat-soluble THC's wreaked their havoc. Nobody with such a crippling degree of self-awareness can successfully DJ a party, so I chose that point to step outside.

I sat there on the apartment's front stoop, listening as Side A of the record I put on came to an end. It was a cool summer evening, and the party banter faded in, as though delicately controlled by a volume knob.
posted by obscurator at 9:27 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: "To be fair if you .....know people inside the world of Brooklyn high gourmandry on the side of the producers then THC-laden elegant deserts where the inherit flavor of the strains make say, a batch of chocolate even better. And more interesting.

If you're into that kind of thing.
"

Go on. Go on...

posted by Splunge at 11:57 AM on July 3, 2012


I guess a lot of people are making $$$$ by keeping weed illegal so it is an uphill battle.

Based on what *I've heard* is charged in legal dispensaries here in CA, people are making bank where it's legal too.
posted by bendy at 12:34 PM on July 3, 2012


Well, this story from California, a scaremongerer's delight, is one of the reasons we can't have nice things.
posted by obscurator at 1:00 PM on July 3, 2012


Well, this story from California, a scaremongerer's delight...

What, the one where the toddler eats a significant quantity of gramma's cancer medicine and, in stark contrast to pretty much any other tale involving a toddler eating a significant quantity of gramma's cancer medicine, comes to no harm whatsoever? Yeah that's some scary shit.

Oh, wait.

If marijuana byproducts are found in the boy’s system, Gomez said, family members could potentially face a child endangerment charge.

Yeah I guess there is some fucking danger involved. (Lock your goddamn pot cookies up in a tacklebox gramma it's still drugs)
posted by nanojath at 1:49 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe this is just a personal-perception thing, but I feel like it's wasteful to cook with anything but the schwaggiest of schwag. But (serious first-world problem) I have trouble finding stuff that bad (read: cheap) these days.

My, uh, friend who used to do a lot of cooking in his slightly younger days was friends with his grower. Oils for cooking (vegetable, olive, coconut and butter), were made in vast quantities each harvest from all the trimmings and the stem. It's the best way to do it. You don't sacrifice the good smoking stuff and you use every bit of that beautiful plant.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:35 PM on July 3, 2012


I fail to see how any meal can be improved by being high 30 minutes after you've finished.

Sometimes I feel really alien and remote from other people.


I...
can't believe I'm the first person to point this out, but isn't the relevant word 'after'?
To rephrase, the meal would be better improved if you were high before you ate?

Of course, this is not an either/or proposition, and perhaps a suitable appetizer would be appropriate.
posted by Elysum at 11:29 PM on July 5, 2012


I... can't believe I'm the first person to point this out, but isn't the relevant word 'after'?
To rephrase, the meal would be better improved if you were high before you ate?


...that's kind of the point of the joke, that if one ATE something cooked with pot, the high would come AFTER eating instead of before.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:59 AM on July 6, 2012


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