Pubdate: Thu, 31 Dec 2015
Source: Boulder Weekly (CO)
Column: Weed Between the Lines
Copyright: 2015 Boulder Weekly
Author: Sarah Haas


If you were to see Robyn Grigg Lawrence's new cookbook lying out on 
your grandma's kitchen table, you probably wouldn't think twice. The 
book's glossy cover shows a plate of pesto pasta garnished with 
lovely green leafs. Pick up the book and thumb through it and you 
will see more of the same - tantalizing photographs and recipes of 
gourmet dishes worthy of any home cook's attention.

The remarkable thing about this unassuming cookbook is that it's all 
about weed. The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook by Robyn Griggs Lawrence 
normalizes cannabis to the point that it becomes a casual culinary 
tool, rather than a controversial, if legal substance.

Lawrence underwent her own process of normalization in her journey as 
a marijuana user. In 2009 her doctor prescribed her marijuana and in 
the aftermath she wrestled with her own fears about the drug as she 
struggled to explain it to her friends and peers and to incorporate 
it into her home life as a mother and wife.

The cookbook is just as much about that process of unraveling bias as 
it is about cooking or cannabis. She opens her book with a dedication 
to all of those who have died, been imprisoned or persecuted because 
of the plant.

"It hit me when I started to go to the cannabis conventions," 
Lawrence says. "I was sitting in a room with all these people making 
money on [marijuana] while people are going to jail. Whenever I do 
presentations I always try to start with that - to help people 
realize how privileged we are to sit here and talk about this and 
make money on it while other peoples' lives are ruined by the very same drug."

Lawrence not only acknowledges the disparity in the demographic of 
people leading the legalized cannabis industry and those persecuted 
by the illegal trade - she is driven by it. Finding herself among the 
fortunate few, she realized her role was to help normalize the 
cannabis and its consumption by incorporating it into home kitchens 
across the country the way she brought it into her own.

Her culinary journey through cannabis began the first time she 
stepped into a medical dispensary to fill her prescription. She 
expected there to be one kind of weed with one kind of smell. Instead 
she experienced multitudes of each.

"When [the budtender] opened the jars, the essential oils from those 
nuggets filled my nostrils - oaky eucalyptus, cheesy lemon, musky 
blueberry the way garlic hits your nose when you walk into Rao's," 
Lawrence writes in the introduction of her book. "The genie was out 
of the bottle. Cannabis revealed itself to me as food - to be 
simmered, sauteed and savored rather than smoked."

Just like wine, craft beer or fine cheese, cannabis presents as a 
sensory experience. In order to fine tune and leverage those 
qualities, Lawrence enlisted a dozen chefs and a barkeep to help her 
explore and utilize the natural flavors of cannabis to bestow its 
flavors and aromas to food.

But cannabis is a different sort of ingredient that imbues more than 
just flavor. The psychoactive effects of the plant contribute to the 
experience of a cannabis infused meal. For Lawrence, this is not only 
medicinal, but sacred. She says the plant brings us closer, but to 
what exactly she isn't sure. For her at least, it brings health and 
prosperity, but it offers a diversity of benefits to those who use it.

"Cannabis is part of many Coloradoan's fanatically healthy 
lifestyles, a source of inspiration and pleasure for a diverse group 
of professionals, carpenters, outdoor enthusiasts, yogis, and soccer 
moms," Lawrence writes. "It has brought tax and tourism dollars, 
worldwide attention, and a deep responsibility."

That responsibility comes with the removal of the legal barrier to 
marijuana, allowing users to release fears of persecution. In the 
wake of that fear, the state is left grappling with society's 
lingering fears about the plant. Lawrence hopes, through cooking and 
conversation, we can begin to explore the fear itself, one bite at a time.

Note: The recipe in this article is tasty, with or without the 
cannabis. If you want to get the recipe for infused simple syrup, 
please read The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook to ensure you are safe and 
comfortable as you explore cooking with cannabis.

Pine Forest Fizz by Rabib Rafiq

Serves One

THC per serving: 1 milligram

1 egg white

3 4 ounce lemon juice

11 2 ounces St. George Terroir gin

3 4 ounce Cannabis Simple Syrup

1 2 ounce St. George raspberry liqueur

1 dash angostura bitters ice cubes soda water shaker Collins ice mold 

1) Extract egg white from egg into shaker. Add lemon juice. Dry shake 
(shake without ice) for 1 minute or more, until solution is extremely frothy.

2) Add gin, simple syrup, raspberry liqueur, and bitters. Shake hard 
with ice. (Alternatively, blend with a milk frother for 20 25 seconds 
to build a nice foam.)

3) Place ice from Collins ice mold or ice cubes in tall Collins 
glasses. Pour solution over ice. Refrigerate for about 2 minutes to 
somewhat solidify foam.

4) Top with a slow, steady pour of soda water until foam rises 2 3 
centimeters above rim of glass.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom