HERBWISE Say “cannabis,” not “weed.” Couch discussion in the language of medicine, not intoxication. There are a lot of rules when it comes to talking about marijuana — and the country’s most beloved cannabis publication breaks most of them.
That’s because at High Times magazine, the general take is that herb should be legal across the board, not just for consumption by the verifiably sick. “Until it’s legal for all adults, medical marijuana patients are going to be regarded as second class citizens,” said Elise McDonough, who besides having worked as a graphic designer with the magazine for 10 years is the author of the brand-new-for-420 Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook (Chronicle Books, 160pp, $18.95).
In her Guardian phone interview, McDonough pointed out that eating may be the first way human beings consumed cannabis. She’s certainly done her part to give us options beyond the basic brownie — the book includes recipes for “psychedelic” spanikopita, tamales, cocktails, holiday feasts, and a host of canna-bases, from dosed butter to olive oil. McDonough wrote many, but also gets help from other High Times luminaries, like the dearly departed Chef Ra, who contributed to the rag’s recipe column for 15 years.
Interest, ahem, sparked? The following recipes from the book will make a stellar foundation for next week’s holiday festivities, medicinal or not.
Makes 1/2 cup
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter*
1/4 ounce cannabis buds, finely ground
*To make cannamargarine, simply substitute margarine for butter in this recipe
1. Melt the butter on low heat in a saucepan. Add the ground buds, and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Strain the butter into a glass dish with a tight-fitting lid. Push the back of a spoon against the plant matter and smash it against the strainer to squeeze out every drop of butter available. When you’re done, discard the plant matter.
3. Use your cannabutter immediately, or refrigerate or freeze until it is time to use. You can easily scale this recipe up for larger batches of cannabutter. One pound of butter (4 sticks) can absorb 1 ounce of cannabis, but you may want to simmer for up to 60 minutes.
Drizzle this cannabutter over freshly cooked pasta or popcorn for instant satisfaction. Reserve large batches in the fridge or freezer for use in recipes.
GREEN GANJA GARLIC SMASHED POTATOES
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, unpeeled and cut into chunks (Yukon Gold potatoes are great)
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons salt, plus more as needed
4 tablespoons Simple Cannabutter
1. Put the potatoes, parsnips, and garlic in a large pot and cover them with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then add the salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes. The potatoes, parsnips and garlic should be tender and easy to smash. Drain the vegetables and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the cannabutter.
3. Return the vegetables to the pot or a large serving bowl, and begin to smash them with a potato masher, slowly adding the melted cannabutter a little at a time. Use spoonfuls of the reserved cooking water to thin the mixture if the smashed veggies are too thick. Season with black pepper and more salt and serve.