BRAUN: Cook­book fo­cuses on cannabis cui­sine

For­get the olive oil, here’s what cook­ing with grass is like

Toronto Sun - - NEWS - LIZ BRAUN

In just over a week, cannabis will be le­gal in Canada.

It’s so ex­cit­ing. No­body has a clue what the hell is go­ing on!

Where can you smoke? What can you grow? Who can sell ed­i­bles? And above all, who cares?

But never mind. Just fol­low the money, and even­tu­ally, all will be made clear.

Pot users are fac­ing a cou­ple of is­sues. Be­tween the re­stric­tions against smok­ing in pub­lic places and the strong smell of mar­i­juana, it may be tough to find toke­friendly places; even va­p­ing can’t cre­ate an en­tirely scent-free ex­pe­ri­ence.

So maybe ed­i­bles are the fu­ture. Why trudge out­side on a snowy day to smoke when you can just eat a brownie?

What peo­ple need is a handy guide to ed­i­bles, and as luck would have it, one came across our desk just this week: The Happy Chef Cannabis Cook­book.

More than just a col­lec­tion of recipes, The Cannabis Cook­book is also a handy sci­en­tific guide for any­one who wants to make their own ed­i­bles and is au­thored by De­li­ciously Dee, AKA Danielle Rus­sell.

Rus­sell has been mak­ing medic­i­nal ed­i­bles for over a decade, first pub­lish­ing

The Happy Chef Cannabis Cook­book in 2014. In 2015, when med­i­cal mar­i­juana be­came le­gal in Ne­vada, she had the first Med­i­cal Mar­i­juana (MMJ) Pro­duc­tion Kitchen in the state. She has ap­peared on Net­flix’s “Cook­ing on High” and on Snoop Dogg’s “Smoke In The Kitchen” (Merry Jane); she’s cur­rently de­vel­op­ing a TV show about the sci­ence be­hind cook­ing with cannabis and heal­ing herb.

Two years ago, Rus­sell part­nered with GB Sciences, a med­i­cal cannabis re­search com­pany.

Her col­leagues work on cannabis-based ther­a­pies for neu­ro­log­i­cal and in­flam­ma­tory dis­or­ders; she has a line of ed­i­bles called Re­lax With Happy, all hand-crafted, sin­gle-dose treats and sweets to help with what ails you.

Con­sider The Happy Chef Cannabis Cook­book a primer of sorts.

Rus­sell — or, Chef Dee — of­fers in­for­ma­tion on med­i­cal cannabis in var­i­ous forms, the ways it can be ad­min­is­tered, and has notes on dosages, side ef­fects, and pa­tient re­spon­si­bil­ity.

(There’s a whole sep­a­rate chap­ter on dos­ing which goes into de­tail about chem­i­cal changes dur­ing heat­ing, etc.) The key to it all is ex­trac­tion and in­fu­sion, leav­ing the cook with sta­ples such as milk, flour, veg­etable oil and but­ter that are im­bued with heal­ing cannabis.

They are added just as reg­u­lar, dope-free in­gre­di­ents would be to every recipe.

Af­ter an in­for­ma­tive in­tro, Chef Dee lays out some of her most pop­u­lar recipes, among them a killer Dr. Green­thumb gua­camole that’s de­li­cious with or with­out the use of cannabis-in­fused olive oil. There are recipes for main dishes, dips and sauces, cook­ies and candy and even cannabis-in­fused gravy.

The good chef has a breezy writ­ing style (“Choos­ing your med­i­cal mar­i­juana based solely on THC po­tency is like choos­ing a fine wine by its al­co­hol con­tent,”) but she’s se­ri­ous about the sub­ject.

She even rec­om­mends that you keep a sep­a­rate set of cook­ware for your cannabis dishes, as cannabis oil tends to stick to the sur­face of most cook­ing pots and pans — yes, even af­ter they’re washed. Each time the pot is heated up, there’s a chance some oil residue will come off the pot and into the next thing you cook. Not a good idea if you have kids in the house.

There’s some­thing earnest and good-hearted about this book. Chef Dee has cre­ated a cannabis bible for her fol­low­ers, and does so with folksy touches, such as her ad­vice on eat­ing healthy and on thrifty gro­cery shop­ping, or her a glos­sary of cannabis terms.

(Check out her web­site. At the mo­ment you can read her thoughts on Ayahuasca and other plant medicines for holis­tic treat­ment. And yes, the good chef needs an ed­i­tor. Well, who doesn’t?)

There’s a lot of money to be made in le­gal herb, and no doubt all the big food con­glom­er­ates will soon get into ed­i­bles — but why not do it your­self? You can take those four, home­grown plants you’re per­mit­ted, and use The Happy Chef Cannabis Cook­book to turn them into some­thing de­li­cious.

Visit de­li­cious­lydee. com for fur­ther info.

lbraun@post­media.com @LizBraunSun

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