With 25 states and counting either decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, this is the dawning of the age of cannabis. It’s a reality Playboy anticipated some 50 years ago (in 1962 we reported on the medicinal uses of marijuana; in 1969 we published a manifesto calling for the legalization of the drug). What we couldn’t predict was the boutique boom in all things bud. Today some of the best chefs in the country are cooking multicourse weed-tasting menus at secret pop-up dinners, doctors are prescribing strains of marijuana to patients with ailment-specific precision, the tacky dorm room bong has been supplanted by beautifully designed electronic vaporizers, and marijuana dispensaries that look more like gourmet food markets than old-school head shops are opening in tony neighborhoods. If you haven’t partaken recently, be warned: The modern strains are extremely potent. So tread lightly, responsibly and, of course, legally. Herewith, a survey of the high end of the marijuana revolution.
Chefs across the country are hosting clandestine pop-up dinners at which weed is the starring ingredient (witness last spring’s feasts hosted by Roberta’s in Brooklyn and Starry Kitchen in Los Angeles). The most outspoken pro-pot chef is probably Eddie Huang, chef at Baohaus New York and author of the new food memoir Fresh Off the Boat. Here he shares his Asian-themed recipe for Diesel Tea Salmon. “My go-to weed-butter recipe is ‘The Best Cannabutter Weed-Butter Recipe Ever’ on YouTube,” says Huang. “I used Sour Diesel, but that’s because I couldn’t find any backyard boogie. If you can get your hands on high school poops, use that because there’s no difference when you’re cooking it.” Diesel Tea Salmon 1 lb. salmon (preferably skin-on, wild-caught, cut into 4 oz. fillets) Canola oil 2 oz. weed butter, melted 6 oz. enoki mushrooms 2¼ cups of water 2 tbsp. loose-leaf green tea 4 cups cooked rice ½ cup chopped scallions 1 tbsp. wasabi paste ¼ cup soy sauce Nori komi furikake (rice seasoning) to taste
Place oven rack approximately five inches from roof of oven and preheat broiler. Place salmon pieces skin-side down on oiled baking sheet and brush with weed butter. Broil for five minutes, until lightly browned and just cooked through. While salmon is cooking, wash enoki mushrooms, discard the roots and separate enoki into bunches of five or six stems. Bring water to boil in a pot. Drop mushrooms in and turn heat off. After one minute, remove mushrooms and set aside. Next, steep green tea in mushroom water with a strainer. Put a cup of rice in each of four large bowls, then top with salmon, mushrooms and brewed tea. Garnish with scallions, wasabi paste, soy sauce and furikake. Evenly distribute the butter from the baking sheet among the bowls. “If you want to get faced,” says Huang, “this is the most important step.”