California Chefs Take Marijuana Edibles to a New Level
Marijuana legalization in California has opened the door for a new form of experimentation: edible alchemy. In the trendy food culture of Los Angles and San Francisco, high-end chefs are taking edibles to a new level with creative and artistic ways to micro-dose marijuana.
The tiny cannabis-infused vegetable tarts served by chef Michael Monteleone are far from the unpredictable pot brownies of decades past. Chefs like Monteleone want diners to feel something, but keep it very subtle with carefully calculated doses.
Marigold Sweets owner Vanessa Lavorato says her pot-infused truffles are not meant to overwhelm the eater and may not contain enough THC to produce a high. Lavorato's recipes can be found in an upcoming book produced by Viceland entitled Bong Appetit.
For Lavorato and other artistic chefs experimenting with high-end cannabis edibles, the flavor is just as important as the effects. They experiment with the musky taste marijuana imparts to foods, combining it with complementary notes. West Hollywood plans to introduce licenses for cannabis cafes, spas, and restaurants.
Creative chefs have unlimited control in this area – they can produce high-inducing foods with zero marijuana odors or flavors through the use of distillates. These pure THC or CBD concentrates are often used in beverages for health benefits or as an alternative to alcohol.
The CBD-infused cocktail in one upscale Los Angeles restaurant lacks psychoactive properties but offers relief from anxiety or pain. The restaurant has an entire cannabis infusion menu that includes a variety of cocktails as well as CBD-infused soups and desserts.