The 420 Gourmet, The Elevated Art of Cannabis Cuisine
Jeff “The 420 Chef” Danzer has served over 12,000 edibles, and the biggest complaint most diners had before tasting his cooking is that they hate the skunky taste of cannabis in their food.
That’s a preconception that Danzer is changing. Dubbed “The Julia Child of Weed” by The Daily Beast, “The Ganja Gourmet” by Newsweek, “The King of Edibles” by Elite Daily, and one of the world’s top cannabis chef’s by Culture Magazine, Danzer describes good cannabis cooking as both an art and a science.
“The art is in cooking and baking food so that it tastes and looks great. The science is in choosing the right strain of cannabis to achieve your desired results and then dosing your edibles properly. Bring them both together, and you’ve got yourself a successful edible experience,” Danzer writes in his cookbook, “The 420 Gourmet, The Elevated Art of Cannabis Cuisine.”
The 420 Gourmet provides the reader with a comprehensive understanding of cannabis as an ingredient to safely create healthy edibles. Danzer begins with his signature “light tasting” CannaButter and CannaOils, which are the secret to his outrageously delicious and truly unique recipes from Eggs Canna-dict and Gnocchi with Hazelnut Canna-Pesto to Fish Tacos with Chipotle Canna-aioli and Hazy Thai Wings (see our blog for the recipe).
“The are many different components of cooking with cannabis,” Danzer says. It’s not as simple as just throwing cannaButter or oil into a recipe as a replacement. You have to understand the compounds and medicinal value of the plant.”
“The cannabis that you’re tasting has no value — that taste that you’re tasting — no matter what strain of cannabis you use — is burnt terpenes, burned chlorophyll, and burned flavonoids,” Danzer adds.
The first part of a five-part process, Danzer explains, is cleaning the cannabis, just as we do with any
other fruit, vegetable or herb. Danzer’s method involves soaking the cannabis in distilled water and then blanching it by plunging it into boiling water for a short time, then “shocking” it in ice water to stop the cooking. This removes the surface compounds from that plant that are potentially contaminated as well as the more volatile terpenes that are responsible for the odor and taste.
If he’s cooking an entire meal, Danzer will replace terpenes with other sources on the menu. If he’s using strain that has limonene, for example, he might serve lemon meringue pie for desert; an alternative to pinene could be pesto made with basil and pine nuts that both already have pinene in them. This way the THC remains in the dish without the objectionable taste.
When it comes to enjoying a full 420 meal and/or more than one mouthwatering edible, Danza says “low dosing” is the key.
“A lot of people don’t want to get themselves totally crashed out, but they still want to feel really good,” Danzer says. “In most legal states, 10 mg of THC is one dose, but that’s pretty high for a lot of people. When people are eating edibles to alleviate a little anxiety, take the edge off at the end of the day, or before bed to help them sleep better, the standard dose that we promote, believe it or not, is only 2.5 to five milligrams.”
Danzer is going one step further in his culinary approach, giving at-home cannabis chefs a secret ingredient of their own. He recently introducing an entire line of “culinary cannabis” herb replacements including OregaNO, Rosemary-Jane, Hazy Thyme, and Blunt Basil. The “herbs” taste and smell exactly like the intended herb, but are 100% cannabis flower.
“You can pretty much create anything with cannabis now,” Danzer says. “One of my greatest joys is having people go, ‘Oh my God! This has cannabis in it?!’”