As marijuana becomes legalized in more states around the United States, cooking with cannabis has taken a step towards the serious—weed brownies and “special” Rice Krispies Treats just won’t cut it anymore. Amid the vast number of questionable cookbooks out there, we’ve narrowed down a few gems that truly elevate the edible experience—and look equally tasteful on your kitchen shelf. (For quick access to recipes, sites such as The Denver Post’s The Cannabist and Vice’s Munchies are also good places to explore). So crank up our 420 playlist on Spotify, get your elbows deep in herb oil, and bring on that unique body high.
Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis
Promising to set the bar high for all future cannabis cookbooks to come is Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis, a 200-page book whose photography could give Bon Appetit mag a run for its money. Brought to you by TheStonersCookbook.com, they’re bringing eight years of experience and recipe-sharing into a beautiful tome that upgrades cannabis to wine status. The crowd-funded tome will be available in ebook format by July 2015 and both paperback and hardcover by August 2015, and is currently on pre-order. Until then, they have a Butternut Squash Soup recipe to get the tastebuds tingling.
The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook
The way Julia Child brought French cuisine to the uncultured American masses in her debut cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” is what Elise McDonough and the editors at High Times Magazine have done with “The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook” ($14). Informative and accessible, it’s an essential staple for any “budding” chef. Starting with a wide range of basics that bind THC to fat molecules (cannabis-infused butters, oils and tinctures plus bonus mayonnaise and flour recipes), the book ventures offers easy-to-prepare recipes that will have even the sober drooling (the photographs help). Highlights include “Cheeto Fried Chicken” from Fresh Off the Boat author and chef Eddie Huang, a Thai-style Tom Yum “Ganja” soup, a Thanksgiving turkey with a marijuana-infused marinade, and even latkes.
The Vegan Stoner Cookbook
While technically not a cannabis cookbook, The Vegan Stoner Cookbook ($11) is a must-have supplement for any pothead—especially with the quirky illustrations of snacks and anthropomorphic fruit and vegetables. Late-night munchies can be quickly bated with these simple, vegan recipes that require only a few ingredients each. There is one super-useful recipe for cannabis oil at the end that can be used to in any recipes requiring oil. So close that Seamless window, open the door to the pantry, and get cracking at making samosas, chive pancakes and yakisoba faster than you can say “It’s cashed.”
The Ganja Kitchen Revolution
The Ganja Kitchen Revolution ($19) is a cannabis strain specific cookbook, where each recipe uses a strain that enhances the flavors of the dish for the tastiest edible experience. Realizing that not everyone might have the same access to the local Colorado strains as she has, author Jessica Catalano has a helpful chart that notes specific strains, their flavor profiles and interchangeable alternative (Catalano is also a stickler for proper dosage). The “mise en place” ingredients lists and step-by-step visual instructions make cooking up healthy cannabis dishes foolproof. Aside from the stellar sammie section, choice recipes include Central Italian Lemon Skunk Bruschetta, Spanish Orange Kush Sangria and Japanese Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream.
Lead image courtesy of Herb, all other images by Nara Shin