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Editor’s Note: We cannot recommend cooking with cannabis if it’s illegal to do so where you live. Many U.S. states have quasi-legalized marijuana to some degree, but it remains illegal at the federal level. For this cookbook review, SPY tapped writer and Canadian Naima Karp, who shared her first-hand experience with this cannabis cookbook.
While pot brownies will always be a classic, any cannabis lover should know that those cliche sugary treats are just the tip of the edibles iceberg. While lots of 420 cookbooks have popped up in recent years, it’s rare to find one as thorough as The Art of Cooking With Cannabis by Tracey Medeiros. First published in May 2021, this book is a guide for people who love good food as much as they love good weed.
A love letter to foodie small businesses and the soul they put into their recipes, The Art of Cooking with Cannabis is a truly comprehensive guide that’s appropriate for beginners and connoisseurs alike. Filled with a colorful variety of infused main dishes, desserts, and even cocktails, it’ll take quite some time before completing all 125 of these creative recipes.
This cookbook is ideal for anyone that wants to conjure up tasty edibles at home, and I spoke with the author to understand her process.
“One of the best parts of being a food writer is that it offers me an opportunity to spread the word about the amazing work that these folks are doing to help promote community wellness through food and cannabis,” Tracey Medeiros said. “Having the ability to showcase all the great things that are happening in the cannabis and food communities around the United States, gives me a great sense of satisfaction.”
In an oversaturated space of trendy infusions, food writer and recipe developer Medeiros sets herself apart with meticulous research and attention to detail. This isn’t a cheesy coffee table book but a detailed instructional and an ode to marijuana’s ability to bring people together. Rather than just offering an index of recipes, Tracey thoughtfully organizes chapters in a way that blends education and storytelling, enlightening readers while celebrating the world of small businesses and the humans behind them.
A major focus in the book is how the farm-to-table movement is merging with the burgeoning cannabis industry.
“I saw the value that cannabis was adding to our culinary repertoire and the changing face of American agriculture. Therefore, it was important for me to destigmatize the use of cannabis by showcasing nourishing recipes that support this philosophy,” she told SPY in an interview.
Beyond sharing the recipes and stories of hardworking small businesses around America, there are valuable nuggets of wisdom throughout the extensive book, dubbed “Sidebars”. Flick through the pages to find everything from an in-depth breakdown of different kinds of cannabinoids, to a guide on purchasing high-quality cannabis flowers.
After cannabis was legalized in the author’s home state of Vermont, she educated herself on the plant and all of its holistic health benefits. She says one of her favorite things about Vermont is its “sustainable food system and desire to promote community wellness through food”.
Legalization sparked Medeiros’s interest, and what started with researching the plant through articles ended with a journey around the United States. From bustling cities to more rural areas, she helped us get to know the folks who were “transforming the culinary and cannabis landscape by elevating the plant to a new level of creativity.”
Broken up by the four main geographical regions in the United States, (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West), this cannabis cookbook will open your eyes to a unique culinary world you had no idea existed.
On the way, she collected stories and recipes from award-winning chefs, food producers, organic farmers and more. They share their perspectives on personal struggles and achievements that have contributed to their relationship with cannabis and food. The author was drawn to profiling farmers and producers “because of their universal devotion to their communities. They are concerned about the health of our planet and its inhabitants and are doing all that they can to connect consumers to organically grown cannabis”.
The Art of Cooking with Cannabis: CBD and THC-Infused Recipes from Across America caters to a range of dietary preferences with all kinds of plant-based recipes, like Raw Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder by Jenny’s BAKED At Home. Beyond being diet-inclusive, chapters are further organized into CBD, Hemp and THC, so you can easily choose between indulging in a stoned evening at home or some soothing pain relief without the high.
Read More: THC Delta-8 Is the Totally Legal Weed
Cannabis terpenes also get a major moment of appreciation in this cookbook. For those who don’t know, terpenes are naturally occurring compounds in cannabis and other plants that are responsible for the distinctive flavors, aromas and even certain therapeutic properties.
Medeiros includes her own terpene-focused recipes, like Heirloom Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with CBD & Lavender Infused Grapeseed Oil. The ingredients tie together harmoniously, as the terpene linalool naturally occurs in both lavender and CBD. It’s known for its relaxing effects which many people belive can combat insomnia, anxiety and depression.
Another terpene-focused recipe by Tracey, her alpha-pinene Vermont Milk Punch (a stoner’s remix on a White Russian), offers an alternative to alcoholic cocktails, while gourmet foodies will appreciate the elevated Flat Iron Steak and Grilled Stone Fruit Salad served with a CBD-Infused Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette. This is Medeiros’s fifth cookbook, and it’s clear that she’s no novice in the arena.
While Medeiros admits that it’s hard to choose between the outstanding choices, she does have a few favorite recipes that should be on your radar, including:
- Chicken Kale Meatballs with CBD-Infused Cherry Tomato and Pesto Sauces from Chef Jordan Wagman
- Smoked Mussels with Roasted Corn Puree and Peppers from Chef David Ferragamo
- Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Brown Sugar Crumble and Wild Blueberries from Cloud Creamery
From a purely aesthetic point of view, this makes a great coffee table book or gift with its vibrant cannabis photography throughout the pages, and a memorable cover. Ultimately, it reads like a travel guide meets cookbook. It provides a tour of mouthwatering farm-to-table meals that you would drive hours to taste but would be equally excited to recreate at home in your own kitchen.
If you are interested in planning a foodie itinerary, flip to the end of the book. Before the index, you’ll find a full directory of all the businesses featured in the book, complete with addresses and websites.
Ultimately, the Art of Cooking with Cannabis pushes the boundaries of the cookbook genre by thinking outside of the box. Just like food, cannabis can be a form of nourishment for our bodies and soul, and this book merges the two with elegance. It reminds us that culinary dishes aren’t just delicious meals — they’re an expression of love that gives the chef just as much joy to serve. In 2022, it’s the only inspiration you’ll need to put down the takeout and get to cooking.