“Cooked with Cannabis” Infuses Cooking Competition with THC

Photo courtesy: mycitybynight.co.za

“There is a revolution taking the cooking world by storm, and it’s all because of this star ingredient: Pot!”

– Kelis

Not long ago I was looking for something to dull the pain of quarantine and found myself on Netflix looking for something to watch. That’s when I found it — “Cooked With Cannabis” — a cooking competition whose title immediately had me calling up a friend and sitting down for a Netflix Party as we watched in pure amazement as gourmet chefs combined their elegant dishes with the sticky-icky.

The premise of a cooking competition centered around weed may seem strange, but take it from someone who doesn’t have a whole lot of knowledge on marijuana, this show is really fun to watch.

First airing just a few weeks ago on April 6, the series only has six episodes in its first season, but it’s off to a strong start.

The show is hosted by popular musician/chef Kelis, along with Portland’s very own cannabis culinaire, Leather Storrs. Together the two of them show the world that the once-feared drug now has many uses outside of just a joint. 

A basic synopsis of each episode: three chefs compete for $10,000 by cooking up a three-course meal with some amount of weed laced into the mix under a certain time limit. A panel of four judges, along with the show’s hosts, judge each meal one at a time before selecting a winner at the end of the episode. 

It has the basic gist of a regular cook-off. So what makes this show different from a regular cooking competition? 

There’s the weed, obviously, but there’s also a lot less stress and pressure in these competitions. Unlike series such as Chopped and Iron Chef, all of the cooks and judges are laid-back and provide an aspect of wholesome, feel-good humor that kept me laughing throughout each episode. 

Another wonderful thing this series brings to the table are the contestants. All of them are unique and fun and it’s not hard to find yourself rooting for all of them within the first five minutes of the episode. 

One last thing that’s so noteworthy about the series is the almost perfect balance of culinary and weed expertise. The regular onlooker may skim past this title screen and think, “Oh a show about stoners cooking,” but I assure you, that’s not the case. 

Joel Keller, an author for “Decider” wrote, “People don’t realize that the woman who brought us the phrase ‘My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard’ also studied as a saucier at Paris’s famed cooking school Le Cordon Bleu from 2006-10.” 

Keller’s words demonstrate that despite how lighthearted and silly this show is, the cooking is still a pivotal part of the show. 

As wonderfully mellow and humorous as “Cooked With Cannabis” is, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t without setbacks. 

One flaw that is noticeable after the third episode is the repetitiveness. Even with the change of judges, contestants, and food theme, the show’s subject matter is so specific that it’s hard to keep things fresh and interesting and as a result previous content is doomed to repeat itself, making the viewer’s interest gradually plateau. 

After the first few episodes of seeing the chefs use different amounts of THC and CBC and having them give the same explanation of what they do, the appeal of a weed-inspired cooking show starts to die down and become pretty formulaic and lacking in zest. 

This show’s second weakness is the judges. The judges are a cast of colorful, humorous, and familiar faces that are very enjoyable to see, but despite all the joy they bring throughout the show, they really falter when it comes to their roles. 

None of them seem to have any culinary knowledge of their own and when a well-prepared, well-plated dish comes before them to be judged their comments are usually reduced to a simple “good” or “bad” or occasionally they don’t even know what they’re looking at. 

This flaw can hit pretty hard on the show’s immersion and investment, especially in the episode’s final moments when a winner is decided.

To sum it up, “Cooked With Cannabis” is a fun, lighthearted show that caters to a lot of modern day humor and interests, and while it may not be on par with the likes of “Master Chef,” it can still make your mouth water with its beautiful recipes while blowing your mind with its fascinating chemistry lessons. 

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