The tacit (or illicit) joys of pot brownies aside, one of the problems with medical marijuana edibles is that they're pretty much junk food. With all apologies to fraternity kitchens and Amsterdam bakeries, it's difficult to find pot-laced food that's, well, actually good for you.
This isn't as ridiculous as it at first seems, especially when you consider that edibles laced with medicinal pot are supposed do more than just get you high. Private chef and caterer Bobby Greig discovered precisely this two years ago, when his elderly father was diagnosed with stomach cancer and Greig began his journey from concerned son to chef-owner of a burgeoning edible marijuana business, Stirrin Da Pot.
Greig started cooking for his dad when his father's dramatic weight loss started endangering his treatment. "At his age he wasn't going to smoke it," says Greig.
The cookies and candy that are often for sale at pot dispensaries weren't healthy, and besides, Greig's father is diabetic. So Greig—who, as his father's caregiver, can legally buy the marijuana himself—put his culinary skills to work and began making real food, food that his father liked and would eat. "The flavor profile is the most important thing. If it doesn't taste good, it's useless." Greig's mother ("she wasn't going to cook with weed; she's a conservative Republican") was initially opposed to the idea, but changed her mind when she saw the positive effects the marijuana had on her husband's health.
Greig says that of the many of strains of cannabis, he uses both sativa and indica, mixing the two in his recipes. He also cooks the cannibis, as he found that raw marijuana made his father ill. "It tastes like a combination of oregano and tarragon, but it's bitter." Greig likes to infuse olive oil with cannabis. He also likes to add it to sautéed vegetables. "It's almost like making a roux." Of course cooking with pot is not only potentially illegal, it's pricey. "It's not as expensive as saffron, but next to saffron, it's probably the most expensive spice."
For more on Greig and for his recipe for chipotle-cannabis salsa, turn the page.
Greig, who cooks in a commercial kitchen and uses FDA approved nutritional labels on his products, sells hummus (roasted bell pepper and sundried tomato) and salsas (chipotle and tomatillo) to licensed dispensaries and co-ops. Next month he's introducing a line of macaroni and cheese, made with four smoked cheeses, and turkey chili. He's working on a delivery service and is eventually planning on offering cooking classes. In the meantime, Greig stresses that you must have a prescription to buy his food, although that hasn't prevented people from asking him to cater private events. "I've gotten a lot of requests for Super Bowl parties."
Greig's website is still under construction, but you can follow him on Twitter @bobbygreig.
From: Chef Bobby Greig of Stirrin da Pot
Makes: About 2 cups
Note: Greig uses a mixture of sativa and indica cannabis.
Additional Note: There are 2 doses per 8 ounce serving of the salsa.
2 jalapeño peppers
5 cloves of garlic
1 cup diced onions
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried cannabis
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
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1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the jalapeños and garlic cloves on a baking tray and roast the garlic for 30 minutes and the jalapeños for about 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
2. In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions over medium heat until they're soft, about 5 minutes.
3. Grind the cannabis in a spice or coffee grinder. Add to the onion mixture and allow to cool.
4. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.