Cooked with Cannabis

Dept. of Wacky Backy, Dagga, and Zol


“Hit and miss” is a perfect way to describe Netflix’s strategy when it comes to reality competition shows. “Scattershot” is another that comes to mind.

From Too Hot To Handle to The Circle, Flinch, Awake, Zumbo’s Just Desserts, Nailed It, Skin Wars, Instant Hotel, Blown Away, The Final Table, the strategy really seems to be a hard push to “something for everyone”. (In case you’re curious, the last three listed are totally worth watching.)

Cooked with Cannabis is the latest addition to the Netflix reality competition oeuvre where, honestly it’s in the name, contestants cook a three course meal using cannabis and cannabis byproducts. 

The series is hosted by musician Kelis and Portland chef Leather Storrs as they challenge three new chefs each episode with a different theme for the chance to win $10,000.

As someone who isn’t big on recreational drugs, Cooked with Cannabis makes for an interesting watch. Yes, it is a cooking competition (which I love), but it is also fascinating to watch the way these chefs treat the cannabis as an ingredient, not just for flavour, but also for effect.

My sister is a professional chef (and a great one at that) and I understand the idea of food being more than just sustenance for the body, but as something that can elevate moods or trigger emotions. That’s what all great dishes do. The idea of food as something that will affect you on a level that goes beyond just being hungry or full, too salty or too sweet, is an intriguing one.

Also, Cooked with Cannabis is not an amateur competition. These are expert chefs who have had years of experience, not just in the kitchen, but also with cooking and crafting menus using cannabis. The chefs on Cooked with Cannabis plan out their dishes not just as a cohesive three course meal but also an emotional ride for the guest, as the different strains and byproducts have different characteristics and effects.

There is a real science to adding cannabis to food and the chefs’ menus are designed for it. Do you start with THC or CBD? Do you want a head high or a body high? Do you use a bud smoker on the fish or throw in CBD sugars in the dessert? Which strain of cannabis do you use with your butter? And which flavours work well with the olive oil?

I’m not even going to pretend that I have any first hand knowledge of any of that stuff I just said. It’s all from the show. What Cooked with Cannabis shows me is that there is a respect given to the cannabis plant and all it’s derivatives. Cannabis is unlike any other plant. And chefs who respect the plant, and know how best to use it, can really elevate the culinary experience.

There’s also a level of casualness to the production. As the 6 episodes of season one progress, the episodes start to do new things, and new settings for the hosts come up. Having produced TV content myself, the idea of adding a new segment halfway through a series is strange. Then again, the changes were for the better, so it worked out.

One of the changes made was to show the competing chefs prepping their cannabis products the day before the competition. The addition of that segment really made it obvious that these chefs aren’t just using something pre-made and pre-bought from a store. These chefs are specifically picking out the cannabis strain that they want to use for a specific recipe, be it with fruity, citrusy notes for a dessert, or hand-making an infused butter for basting a lamb.

It is also worth noting that this isn’t Netflix’s first foray into weed cooking shows. In 2018 Netflix released Cooking on High, and although it has the same general idea, it doesn’t quite pull it off as well. Cooked with Cannabis really feels like a more thought out idea, whereas Cooking on High felt more like a bunch of stoner friends got together to shoot a thing.

I’m not big on getting high. I’ve tried cookies and brownies in Amsterdam, I’ve smoked joints while at university in England. I’ve tried the vapes while in San Francisco with an old friend and my dad. It just isn’t for me. But I think I need to try some cannabis cuisine.

Cooked with Cannabis is a decent hit.

Cooked with Cannabis
Netflix, Season 1, 6 episodes
Director: Rik Reinholdtsen
Showrunners: Jeff Gaspin and David Broome
Cast: Kelis and Leather Storrs

Bahir likes to review movies because he can watch them at special screenings and not have to interact with large groups of people who may not agree with his idea of what a movie going experience is. Bahir likes jazz, documentaries, Ken Burns, and summer blockbuster movies. He really hopes that the HBO MAX Green Lantern series will help the character be cool again. Also don’t get him started on Jason Momoa’s Aquaman (#NotMyArthurCurry).

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