Elise McDonough’s cookbook takes the guesswork (and the chunks) out of cannabis cookery.

Elise McDonough’s cookbook takes the guesswork (and the chunks) out of cannabis cookery.

IF YOU ask someone if they like edibles, you’ll probably get a story that ends with a car in a ditch or throwing up on a bus. Listening to these tales, you’d think stoners categorically can’t cook, that they throw weed into cookies the way they throw in chocolate chips and figure the more the better.

Then there are the technical challenges. There have been brownies where I might as well have been eating bud like some weird California chaw because no one strained the weed particles out of the butter.

These crimes have spurred the largest cannabis-related magazine in the world to put out a cookbook. In The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook (Chronicle Books, $18.95), principal author and former Santa Cruzan Elise McDonough and the editors of High Times Magazine feature recipes such as “Pineapple Express Upside-Down Cake” and  “Ganja Granny’s Smoked Mac ‘N’ Cheese,” as well as instructions and proportions for infused butter, mayo, flour and oil.

It packs authority equivalent to the Oxford English Dictionary. “If a stoner were to source anything, it would be High Times,” says Tram, one of several invited to eat the spoils of a recent recipe test. “I used to have an issue that told me how to smoke from the ground.”

After using my medical marijuana card at a licensed dispensary, I buy $20 worth of cheese and simmer seven grams of ganja in a pool of butter, filling a casserole dish with a bubbling noodle pile that has a dangerous look about it. Eating too much is easy when faced with a meal-type edible, and the hungry have a hopeless look about them as they go for gooey, four-cheese seconds.

“I hear voices when I eat too much,” confesses Rafugio. “Like a foreign gremlin voice.”

The hazards of ingesting are greater than smoking, but the cookbook labels each dish with the number of stones achieved, and if you burn the first batch of butter like I did, you’ll even run out of bud and have to make do with a weaker infusion.

Apparently when McDonough says “stir frequently,” she means it.


ELISE MCDONOUGH signs copies of ‘The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook’ on Thursday, April 5 at 7:30pm at Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. 831.423.0900. Free.

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