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High supper: Would you try cannabis in your dinner?

As marijuana laws relax across the US, foodies are discovering the pleasures of pot for your palate

High supper: Would you try cannabis in your dinner?
A dish from the Herbal Chef

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Nine US states have legalised the recreational use of cannabis and another 30 have approved it for medicinal purposes. And with more than 2,500 strains, each with its own flavour and character profile, it was only a matter of time before serious chefs started infusing cannabis into gourmet concoctions. The latest trend is for haute cuisine supper clubs in private homes and converted warehouses. Less speakeasy, more smokeasy, perhaps.

Hollywood high
Aaron Ziegler, former executive chef of Wolfgang Puck, is one of the many Angeleno chefs setting up shop as ‘weed sommeliers’ — or gangiers. His six-course dinners in private residences take place every Friday and Saturday, starting at $130 (£100). Andrea Drummer, former executive chef at LA’s The Ritz Carlton, recently launched Elevation VIP, a pop-up dispensary. Her sell-out ‘tray-passing events’ of weed-infused finger food start from $50 (£38) a head.

Andrea Drummer of Elevation VIP Cooperative

The Herbal Chef
Chris Sayegh is getting ready to open Herb, a high-end cannabis restaurant, in Santa Monica, California. He also offers overnight packages at a private villa in Malibu, starting at $500 (£387), with a bespoke cannabis menu. Expect dishes like lamb chop with THC-infused mint chutney.

High rollers
Dominican chef Miguel Trinidad’s exclusive underground supper club, Sinsemil.la, is the hottest ticket in New York City. The menu is locally sourced and seasonal with organic marijuana varietals balancing the flavours. Seats at the highly exclusive table, from $250 (£193).

An Aaron Ziegler creation

Puff pastry
In 2015, high-profile pastry chef Mindy Segal partnered with Cresco Labs, the largest medicinal cannabis cultivator in Illinois, to create a line of edibles, including THC-enhanced chocolate brittle bars and a drinking chocolate mix.

Did you know?

Marijuana is a booming business. In the US, the industry is estimated to grow to $22bn (£17bn) by 2020. Recreational consumption is already legal to varying extents in Uruguay, South Africa, the Netherlands and Spain.

Published in the Jul/Aug 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)