Welcome to Psychedelicatessen, a weekly column exploring the world of cannabis cuisine, including recipes from the great chefs and ganjapreneurs who fuel our appetite for adventure.
Pot foodies scrolling through Instagram might have noticed increasingly extreme stoner dishes appearing in their feeds, bursting with big flavors, slathered in melted cheese and packing a medicated punch with the active ingredient infused into mayonnaise, spicy ketchup or thousand island dressing.
Brought to you by Dave Wais, otherwise known as @TheHerbalChef420, the diverse photographic parade of oversized sausage and pepper sandwiches, shrimp po’boys and fried rice, carne asada, pad thai and inventive fusion creations like “Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza Pies” is enough to tempt any svelte stoner away from a sensible diet. And that’s before you get to the equally insane dessert course. Wais prepares items like M&M cookie sandwiches stuffed with cannabis chocolate and peanut butter Oreo and berry chocolate cereal bars topped off with Captain Crunch. It’s the kind of food you might make in college after doing gravity-bong hits with your roommate, provided your college roommate was Guy Fieri or Harley Morenstein.
A graduate of the Food Network school of cookery, the 24 year-old Wais is largely self-taught, having apprenticed in New York City kitchens before his recent arrival in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“I was dabbling in cooking with cannabis in New York, so I decided to move west,” Wais said, “but my favorite thing to make is still New York-style pizzas!”
With connections in the entertainment and fashion industries, Wais hopes to create a pilot for an instructional cannabis cooking show, inspired by his hero Anthony Bourdain.
“He’s one of the biggest idols in my life,” Wais said. “I watch every single episode of every one of his shows.”
Much like Bourdain’s groundbreaking bestseller Kitchen Confidential, Wais hopes to “shine a whole different light on the cannabis industry.”
The key to medicating meals at home is striking the proper balance with your dosage. As Wais explained, “you can always add more cannabis, so it’s important not to over-medicate the meals to the point where people can’t function anymore.”
His superb THC Teriyaki Chicken dish, marinated overnight with just a tablespoon of cannabis-infused oil, was a great success at a recent dinner party.
“The chicken made us feel super body high,” Wais recalled. “It was a nice experience.”
It’s also a healthy dinner that’s easy to make quickly on a weekday night, accompanied by a simple seasonal stir-fry and brown rice.
THC Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
4 scallions, green and white section diced
5 boneless chicken thighs
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp teriyaki marinade
2 tbsp sesame teriyaki sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 ½ tbsp cannabis-infused oil
2 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
Whisk together all of your marinade ingredients in a bowl until completely incorporated. Let the chicken thighs marinate in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours prior to grilling.
1 cup brown rice
½ tsp sesame oil
½ red onion, cut into matchstick-sized pieces (julienne)
½ red bell pepper, cut into matchstick-sized pieces
½ green bell pepper, cut into matchstick-sized pieces
6 baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ cup snow peas
½ cup mung bean sprouts
1 tsp soy sauce
Salt and crushed black pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 180ºF. Remove the marinated chicken thighs from the fridge and allow them to reach room temperature before grilling.
Start your brown rice. Combine 1 cup rice with 2 cups water and a ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil in a small pot. Once water has reached a boil, turn down to a simmer and mostly cover, leaving only a small gap to allow some steam to escape. Cook your rice for 45 – 50 minutes, until all water has been absorbed.
Meanwhile, chop your stir-fry veggies and grill your chicken. Place an indoor grill pan, skillet or sauté pan over high heat. Getting your pan nice and hot will allow the chicken thighs to brown nicely. Turn the heat down to medium before placing your chicken thighs top-side down, along with a generous spoonful of marinade.
Sear or grill for five minutes before using tongs to flip the chicken thigh over and repeat on the other side. Chicken should be nicely browned with a few charred bits, and the inside should be completely opaque. Place grilled chicken in an oven-safe dish and keep warm in the oven while making the stir-fry.
If you have excess marinade, simmer it in a small saucepan along with a tablespoon of water for 5 – 10 minutes, until it has reduced into a thickened sauce. (You must thoroughly heat the marinade in order to safely consume it. Raw chicken and the tools that come in contact with it must be handled separately and safely.)
Warm a wok or large sauté pan over high heat and add the sesame oil, swirling it around to coat the pan. Add your onions and peppers and fry for several minutes, tossing or stirring once or twice. Add the mushrooms and fry for several more minutes, until they have reduced in size and released their juices. Continually shake your pan or stir often. Add the snow peas and fry for a minute or two. Remove the pan from heat, and add the mung bean sprouts and soy sauce, stirring to coat.
Remove the rice from heat once all water has been absorbed, and fluff it with a fork. You can add another teaspoon or two of cannabis oil or cannabutter, if desired, to increase meal potency. Allow rice to sit, completely covered, for 5 more minutes.
Serve the THC Teriyaki Chicken Thighs over the brown rice with a side of veggie stir-fry. Enjoy!