Mario Batali’s Embarrassing Pot Brownie Fail

In honor of the Denver Broncos making it to the Super Bowl this year, celebrity chef and noted marijuana fan Mario Batali decided to include a "Rocky Mountain High" option for a brownie recipe that he submitted to in advance of the big game. He even offered some thoughts on how to enjoy those chocolately weed treats responsibly.

"All of the expected disclaimers apply," Batali wrote. "Make sure you purchase from a trusted dispensary. And if you do 'indulge,' make sure you’re not driving and that you’re hanging with cool people. Basically, don’t do anything stupid."

Pretty solid advice, but unfortunately anyone carefully following Batali's recipe wouldn't have to worry about getting very baked, never mind stupid. Because while the recipe calls for a whopping "four grams of high quality marijuana, cleaned and ground" to yield just nine brownies—more than enough to make for face-melting confections if handled properly—Chef Batali's recipe skips out on the vital step of decarboxylating the bud.

To achieve true edibles potency, marijuana must be heated to 240ºF for at least an hour in order for the plant's natural THCa (which is not psychoactive) to be transformed into the THC we all know and love (a process called, you guess it, decarboxylation). Batali's recipe, however, calls for adding the ground herb to a small saucepan of butter until it "just melts." He also never tells you to strain out all of that plant matter—so it all goes right into the brownies!

And so, to recap, one of the most famous chefs on the planet just advised the world to waste four grams of primo kush on making pretty much bunk brownies with a bunch of grassy ground up plant matter in them. Oh Mario, I'm not so much angry as disappointed. I always thought you knew your herb, based on this New Yorker story describing your secrets of excess.

[Batali] was caught growing marijuana on the roof of the Madrid apartment building where [his] family lived, the first incident of what became a theme: Batali was later expelled from his dorm in college, suspected of dealing, and, later still, there was some trouble outside Tijuana, which landed him in jail. (The time in Madrid evokes a memory of one of the first dishes Batali remembers preparing, a late-night panino with caramelized onions, cow’s-milk cheese, and paper-thin slices of chorizo: “The best stoner munch you can imagine. Me and my brother Dana were just classic stoner kids, we were so happy.”)

Mario, might I humbly suggest checking out the detailed series of videos I recently made in the HIGH TIMES test kitchen, comparing four leading methods of making cannabutter in order to scientifically determine which works the best. I'd also be happy to mail you a signed copy of The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook, which contains a foolproof method for making potent, tasty pot brownies.

This way, if they ever have ganja as the secret ingredient on Iron Chef, you'll be ready.

(Photo Courtesy of Pop Tower)

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