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


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 toke-friendly 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.


Some of the goodies from reTreat Edibles in Calgary, an edible marijuana product for Off The Menu on Thurs., Dec. 21, 2017.

Darren Makowichuk /

DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

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.


In this Thursday, July 10, 2014, photo, a student examines a sample of the cannabis strain “granddaddy purple” during a cooking class at the New England Grass Roots Institute in Quincy, Mass. The proliferation of marijuana edibles for medical and recreational use is giving rise to a cottage industry of foods, infused olive oils, cookbooks and classes as more states legalize marijuana use.

Michael Dwyer /

AP

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



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