People have been eating weed for thousands of years—brewed for tea, crumbled into coffee, as a tincture, mixed with fruits and spice in jam—but in the last decade or so, it has started to feel very different. Building on the accumulated wisdom of traditional recipes such as Middle Eastern mahjoun and Indian bhang, cannabis cuisine has gone far beyond brownies and has reclaimed its place as a serious culinary ingredient. We’re now living in a new era of marijuana cuisine; one of space-age vaporizers, designer hash, and cutting-edge science, all of which have helped take weed food to a whole other realm.
In these pages, we’re experimenting with weed, but not like teenage stoners hitting a homemade gravity bong. Instead, we have enlisted some incredible chefs to make weed food that eclipses those early brownies—the kind of fare that you’d want to sit down and eat even if there wasn’t weed in it.
Through a mash-up of modern cooking techniques and hard-won weed wisdom, television series Bong Appétit highlights next-level ingredients and techniques that are revolutionizing the way we use cannabis, as a culinary ingredient—leafy green; spice; dried herb; refined, isolated chemical—and as something that gets you high.
Envied for its extensive pantry filled with fine flowers, rare hashes, infused oils, and weed-infused spices, Bong Appétit (the show) redefines luxury in many respects. We realize that many readers, even those who live in states such as California and Colorado where recreational cannabis is legal, won’t have access to these products. So we’ve translated many ideas from the series into something that works for the home cook. Do you have access to terpenes, cannabinoids, distillates, tinctures, and any strain of bud you desire and are looking for new techniques that will put them on your home table or turn them into professional-level edibles? These recipes will give you plenty to work with. Do you have to text someone shady as hell to get hooked up, so you basically have to work with whatever you can get? There are recipes here for you, too.
And we’re making it easy to know just how high you’ll get from a plate of fried chicken wings or a bowl of pappardelle Bolognese. We lab tested all of our recipes to make sure you wouldn’t have to worry about (a) wasting a bunch of weed making food that doesn’t get you high or (b) making food that gets you so high you have to call in sick for work the next day. We’ve also asked Bong Appétit hosts Vanessa Lavorato and Ry Prichard to add notes and pro tips throughout the book so you get perspective from seasoned experts.
And sure, there’s some crazy shit in here, like poaching a whole octopus in weed olive oil or force-infusing THC into alcohol with a whipped-cream charger. But we’re also keeping it simple enough for the beginner cook to play along, with cannabis getting into most of the recipes via easy-to-make infusions of butter or oil. Still, if you’re itching for a challenge, you’ll find plenty of next-level options, from cannabis-leaf kimchi to infused pepperoni.
Some of what you may have seen on the show flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that prioritizes budget over flavor when cooking with weed. We freely admit that burning three ounces of high-quality pot in a smoker or dumping a handful of herb into a fryer was more about experimentation than getting high. You won’t find recipes for that kind of thing here. That said, if you feel like balling out, we’re not here to stop you. This book is all about giving you the tools and savvy you need to master the art of cooking with cannabis—no matter what that looks like for you.
If you live in a place without legal weed, please know we’re sorry—and that you are not alone. And, yes, it’s incredibly fucked up that there are millions of people in prison for enjoying the kind of recreational activity you’re about to read an entire book on, and we’re hoping that changes soon too. In any case, rest assured that the recipes in this book can be followed without including any cannabis at all. They’re still excellent; they’re just not quite as fun.