“I Do” Cannabis
Run time 00:34:00
Guest Judges: El-P (musician), Emily Panic (comedian), Too $hort (Rapper), Michael Voltaggio (chef)
Updated 2020.06.25 – Better grammar and more flattering pictures
Series synopsis: Cooked with Cannabis is a cooking-based competition featuring three chefs competing to create the best dining experience with cannabis infused food. Kelis (singer) and Leather Storrs (professional chef) are the hosts of the show and the primary judges. Each episode also features several celebrity guest judges, often actors, comedians and singers. The chefs has to create a three-course meal, appetizer, main and dessert, to compete for a single episode prize of $10 000 USD. All the judges try each dish one at a time and comment on the flavour, but only Kelis and Leather (what a great name!) discuss how well cannabis was incorporated into the dish.
Born and raised in Germany, this chef moved to San Francisco from Florida when weed became legal in California. She has co-authored an edibles cookbook and is the head chef of a pop-up restaurant she started with her hubby. She her professional focus is good cannabis pairings.
Currently residing in Washington DC, Lauren is a private chef. Although he first started cooking with his grandmother, he really got into cooking once he realized his pro baller dreams were over (he did make it onto the Oakland Raiders practice squad!).
Working in Seattle as the R&D culinary director for a cannabis technology company, Stacy first started making edibles in college when she was “21 years old”. Her motivation in cannabis is to make sure that one day, no one will repeat the mistakes she made and have terrible experiences with overly potent edibles (does she work for Friendibles!?).
Kelis loves the idea of having a cannabis themed wedding and openly wishes that she had thought to do it for at least one of her two weddings. This episode was the chance for her to live out that fantasy, at least with the reception dinner. “I Do” Cannabis is the wedding themed episode. Our opening scene is a super cheesy moment with Leather fake-proposing to Kelis, but luckily they feel just as awkward doing it as we felt watching it and it’s over quickly. This episode changes the whole paradigm of the competition by capping the maximum THC dose for the 3-course meal and requiring the dessert to be a “wedding” cake. THC is capped at 8mg so that the chefs don’t “comatose the bride”. If you like the large doses, you won’t agree with us here, but we think this is a fantastic development. Increasing the dose of infused food is pretty straight forward anyway. The dosing cap inherently tells our contestants that they will need to think about how they’re going to divvy up the THC. This is a little bit more handholding than in previous episodes but some of the previous chefs seemed to have needed it. We also get some early introduction to our judges, El-P and Emily are a real life married couple and you can see some of that legacy cannabis mentality as they reluctantly admit to having bought a pound of cannabis for their wedding even though it is now mostly legal and there shouldn’t be any shame in their past actions.
Stacy claims to have an expertise in pastries so for the appetizer, she’s making a miso-tahini tart using MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride) as her infusion base. I was just looking up what you can do with miso paste today (other than soup) and mixing it with tahini was right up at the top of the list. (I went with making a pesto sauce though). Stacy is flashing her R&D knowledge here with MCT oil. This is what all the major processors are using to stabilize cannabis oils. Especially full-spectrum oils that contain a wider variety of activated cannabinoids and terpenes. Stacy let us know that she’s planning on delivering an even dosing of THC throughout her meal, which has been a winning strategy in the past. Lauren has come up with a creative dish that he calls “Eggs at the Spa”. Imagine a poached egg relaxing in a warm herbal bath with cucumbers over its eyes. His dosing plan is “up – down – up – down – mellow out”. We’re not sure he really knows what he means, but that sounded good. Coreen made a velouté. Wikipedia informs me that this is a sauce, however she’s going to serve it as a soup. I can see how it might be halfway in between since it’s a French roux mixed with a light soup stock. Leather tells the viewers that if he were a contestant, his strategy might be to load up the appetizer with all 8 mg of THC. Maybe Coreen overheard, because this is exactly what she chose to do. I think that using all the THC up front may be a little aggressive, but it does free up your other dishes. Instead of worrying about how you’re going to properly dose the following dishes, you can just make sure they’re delicious.
This episode is the first one to take some time to directly give us a look at the chefs making their own cannabis infusions prior to filming. If you want to be able to make custom pairings with different strains for your dishes, then you better be able to make your own infusions! Lauren went with “Chem Dawg” in clarified butter. Stacy was really thoughtful with her infusion, using “Blue Dream” for something blue with the wedding theme. She also chose to infuse whole milk. Very advanced. This made a good first impression on Leather. Coreen didn’t bother making her own infusion, instead dissolving some THC powder into truffle oil. This episode has provided the most amount of focus on good THC dosing so far.
Coreen’s killing it with the time management, starting her dessert with the extra time in the appetizer round. Thinking back to the winner of episode 1, this might be a winning move. Meanwhile, Stacy has undercooked her pastry and last minute changes the tart filling into a spread. All the judges loved the flavours she was bringing though, narrowly edging out the other dishes to take a lead in the appetizer round. Guest judges showed us some good value add, Michael Voltaggio providing some killer colour commentary about the stresses of the last few minutes in a round and El-P forgetting how the competition works halfway through the appetizer round. He either started off stoned or the velouté hit him really hard.
For the entrées, both Lauren and Stacy are going to sous-vide with chicken thigh and rib-eye respectively. It’ll be difficult for either of them to stand out with two sous-vide dishes. Lauren may have dosing issues since he’s planning on adding the THC to the frying pan when he sears the chicken. Stacy is adding the THC to her sauce which is much better for preserving the dose but comes with its own problems. When you dose the sauce and drizzle it on, you’re expecting that the person eating it will mop up all of the sauce on their plate. If they don’t, they’re getting under-served. You also better be damn sure that you’re dishing out the same amount of sauce on each plate. This is something that Leather calls her out on when its clear she short-changes his plate compared to Kelis’. Stacy did catch onto the time management thing and starts her dessert with some of her time for the entrée. Coreen smartly doses her main with CBD to help start leveling out the judges’ high. She goes real hard after it with 50 mg CBD. CBD works by competing for the same receptors in your brain. This doesn’t make the THC metabolize any faster out of your body, but it reduces how many THC molecules can hit your brain at once. Coreen is clearly a CBD super fan. She stops herself short of making Trump-like claims but its clear from her delivery that she has a hard time separating medical science from internet rumor. El-P makes a statement to that point saying, “It’s [CBD] for people who want to pretend to be healthy but not actually be healthy. I’m not going to exercise, maybe I’ll just eat a lot of CBD.” This is clearly exaggeration but it does parallel the faux-cure-all belief that many people subscribe to about CBD.
Coreen not having to worry about the THC dosing gave her a culinary advantage but she still flavoured her dish with cannabis leaves to remind you that the meal is infused. Lauren’s chicken was the flavour fav of guest judge Michael and impressed the other judges enough to give him a slight edge in the entrée round.
The dessert wasn’t much of a surprise, everyone made cake. Lauren’s choice of a ricotta cake was simple and looked delicious, but maybe too simple for Leather and Kelis. Even though Stacy started her dessert early, she still struggled to finish it. She went with what looked like a miniature layered wedding cake but it was dry and under presented. Coreen chose an almond cake with cream cheese icing. I don’t know anyone who can resist cream cheese icing. It’s a dirty move but effective. By this point the judges aren’t providing very good commentary. Probably because they’re all stoned from the large dose of THC they got in the appetizer round. Too $hort gets his chance to say something with everyone else quiet. He tells us that Stacy’s cake was the only dish where he could taste weed. Even including Coreen’s weed leaf flavoured main. As a regular cannabis smoker, the weed flavour is familiar to him and he likes to have it in his infused food. We think Coreen won the dessert round because… cream cheese icing.
So who won? Each chef seemed to have taken a least one round each, but Stacy had execution issues, and Lauren just couldn’t standout enough in any round, so Coreen won. This was likely a very close decision and she probably won out because of her dosing strategy and dosing execution. She knows cannabis cuisine but it’s a shame that they gave her a platform to spout her fake medicine nonsense. If cannabis is going to get mainstream acceptance like coffee or wine, the industry needs to stop letting people like Coreen speak for them. On top of the CBD super-fandom, Coreen tries to claim that THCA (the non active form of THC) has medicinal properties. She repeats the line, “There’s new stuff coming out all the time, research is constantly being done on cannabis.” This statement by itself is true, but she uses it to imply that her claims about THCA being medicine have scientific backing. She is banking on people being uninformed or unaware how to fact check her. She’s partially protected by Google’s search algorithm which prioritizes high traffic links from Leafly, woahstork and kumbaya health clinics. Not places known for their fundamental research. Calling out this kind of BS requires you to know to search on places like Google Scholar, NCBI Pubmed and Microsoft Academic. These search engines give you direct access to actual research. A quick search focusing on her main claim about psoriasis tells us that one test worked… sometimes… but only in a petri-dish. That doesn’t mean that it will work even 1% in a human. If cannabinoids had medicinal properties like the super-fans claim, don’t you think that large pharmaceutical companies (like Apotex, Bayer, GSK, Pfizer… etc) would be all over it? They have no shame. They only see $$.
Episode three carried over a lot of the good things from episode two. They even decided to play with the rules a little bit which makes things fun to watch. They’ve ironed out most of the kinks from earlier episodes but they’re still struggling to get a full panel of quality guest judges. The food that each chef makes continues to interest us and make our eyeballs salivate and the chefs all bring diverse personality to the show. There’s a clear angle towards beginners considering the teaching moments and the focus on low, consistent dosing. If you’re thinking about getting into THC infused food, we think this is a great series for you. Either as inspiration for what to cook at home, or as homework for what to order once you find that five star cannabis restaurant.
copyright Friendibles 2020
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