By Rachel Belle
Cheetos encrusted Fried Chicken. If that's not stoner food, I don't know what is. That's just one of the super irie recipes found in the new High Times Cannabis Cookbook, where marijuana infused butter or oil is included in each dish. Now, I'm not a pot smoker or eater, but it's a beautiful cookbook and a good resource for medical marijuana patients who use it to help ease the pain of cancer, AIDS, chrones disease and even PTSD.
"I think, for a lot of medical marijuana patients, they prefer to eat it because it relieves pain in a very gentle, effective way and it helps people sleep," says High Times Cannabis Cookbook's author, Elise McDonough. "If you're eating a normal American diet, and you're cooking at home, chances are you're using butter or oil in your recipes. This is just an easy way to get cannabis into your diet without having to go out to a dispensary and buy a brownie that might cost $10, that might be loaded with sugar and fat."
You can make Ganja Granny's Smoke Mac n Cheese or the Thai coconut soup - Tom Yum Ganja, and there's even a holiday section that includes potato latkes fried in THC oil for Hanukkah or THC turkey with Magic Marinade for Thanksgiving. There's also a recipe inspired by Snoop Dogg, who is no stranger to the kitchen. The funniest cooking segment I've ever seen is when he makes mashed potatoes with Martha Stewart. The book features an appetizer called Lil Snoop Hot Doggy Dogs.
"It's basically a deep fried hot dog that's been stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. Then placed in a toasted, buttery roll that's been brushed in cannabis butter," McDonough says.
Dr. James Lathrop is the clinical director at Seattle's Advanced Holistic Health. He says that a lot of patients choose to eat cannabis, instead of smoking it.
"Most of those patients haven't been smoking cannabis and so just kind of going straight to smoking isn't really a natural way to go. So, edibles would be a very natural way to use this as a medicine for someone who's new to cannabis."
But eating pot does have a different effect than smoking it. It can be really intense and cause hallucinations if you eat too much.
"One of the things that I recommend with anyone trying edibles is you start slow, you start small, wait an hour or two before consuming more because you can quickly get too much," advises Dr Lathrop. "The nice thing about a cannabis overdose, is it will typically will just make you sleepy and thirsty. There has never been a reported death of a cannabis overdose in the history of the world. So it's a very safe medicine to take on a home basis."
Michael is a Seattle EMT and father, who uses medical marijuana to treat back pain he has, as a result of his job. He experiences longer pain relief when he eats it, as opposed to smoking it.
"The ingestion of cannabis orally is going to be compared to a time release capsule of any other medicine on the market. Eating it will give you about three to six hours of relief."
Michael says marijuana is his medicine, and why not enjoy your medicine in a delicious meal?
"There's nothing like sitting down, having a great meal and by the time you're done, all of a sudden you notice all the ailments you had prior to your meal are gone. So you're full, you're happy, your pain has subsided."
The cookbook features 50 recipes, many garnished with little marijuana leaves, and McDonough says the dishes work just as well without the pot.