COOKING WITH CANNABIS
Chef Mike Derouin creates the ultimate cannabis-infused meal
It’s official — cannabis is legal in Canada. And while edible products have yet to be regulated, chefs across the country have already begun to explore the culinary possibilities that cannabis-based ingredients offer. And they’re doing much more than just baking pot brownies. Take this dessert, for example: charred bourbon peaches that will be topped with a cannabis-infused Chantilly cream. The cannabis strain used here is Mango Haze, which has great anti-inflammatory properties that help relax the body — making it perfect for the finale of a multi-course dinner. Sound intriguing? On the following pages, local chef Mike Derouin prepares three courses, each with its own strain of cannabis, and discusses how best to strike a balance between the tastes and effects of this burgeoning product.
Mike Derouin, founder of Meshback BBQ,
has been cooking with cannabis ingredients for years and, over that time, has mastered the subtle art of bringing marijuana to the dinner table. While he has honed his craft catering exclusive late-night dinners, changes in marijuana laws — which will soon include edibles — are bringing cannabis cuisine into the limelight. But there’s more to cooking with weed than simply finding a way to make the psychoactive drug palatable. “First and foremost, it’s about the food,” he says. “If it doesn’t taste good, then what’s the point?”
Preparing a multi-course cannabis meal presents unique challenges. “First of all, you don’t want to limit how much food you can serve or how much people can eat, so knowing the characteristic effects of each strain is important.” To this end, Derouin uses cannabis as a seasoning as opposed to a primary ingredient, which gives him more control over both its effects and how the flavours interact with other ingredients. “You want to pair the right strain with the right dish, and that means finding common flavour profiles. Otherwise, the cannabis is just a novelty.”