Feastly Offers Class on The Art of Cooking With Marijuana - Making CannaButter for Edibles Without the Harsh Taste

Feastly CannaButter: the Art of Cooking with MarijuanaThe website Feastly is known as a meal-sharing website, connecting adventurous diners with enthusiastic home chefs who want to cook for such people in their homes. A look at its local offerings shows a brunch from the Indian state of Maharashtra, a Spanish Sherry feast, and a Northwest Malaysian Tasting Menu. But this Saturday, a class is happening in San Francisco for a different type of adventurous diner: those who want to learn how to make “Cannabutter,” or butter infused with marijuana that lacks the overly herbaceous – in a bad way – taste of weed.

Feastly co-founder Noah Karesh said he believes this is the first such class to be offered to the public on such a platform (Feastly has several rivals, such as EatWith) and he couldn’t be more proud.

“We’re really trying to push the boundaries of food and what you can do with it,” he said from New York (though Feastly is headquartered in San Francisco).

“We see Feastly as a place for chefs and people in the culinary world to showcase their craft, whatever that might be,” said Karesh. “It’s a canvas for food experiences, so this is a great example of people thinking outside the box.”

JeffThe420Chef. Photo courtesy of Jeff
JeffThe420Chef. Photo courtesy of Jeff

The class being offered on Saturday, which still has room available, is by a New York-based man who goes by the moniker JeffThe420Chef. And forgive me for giving into stereotypes, but he sounds nothing like the stoner dude chef I imagined, he is much more the fast-talking New Yorker. By day, he is vice president of sales for a fashion company, but flies out to various places (especially Colorado and California) to make edibles for people who want them, as well as do full dinner parties with marijuana as the starring ingredient. This is the first time he’s teaching how to make “CannaButter,” and note to anyone thinking of enrolling, you must have a valid California Medical Marijuana card to participate, as well as bring your own eighth of marijuana; none will be sold or given away at the class. I.D.s will be rigorously checked, and registration papers will be signed.

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“As much fun as this is, it’s also very serious, and we’re making sure people all take this very seriously,” said Karesh.

Jeff – he doesn’t use his last name for this aspect of his life – was always an avid home cook, and two years ago, began making marijuana brownies for his friend’s mom who had cancer. But once she became a regular of these kinds of treats, she began to tire of the brownies and cookies available.

“The issue was always that there’s a specific taste to everything that you make with it,” said Jeff. After two years of experimentation, he hit pay dirt six weeks ago, when he figured out a process to make butter infused with the potency of the herb but without the marijuana flavor.

He is working with a lawyer now to patent it, but is happy to teach his method to others. He explained that the marijuana must be cured for eight days, in various natural solutions that removes the flavor but leaves the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, what causes the high) and CBD (cannabidiol, what relieves the pain) in the butter.

Jeff explained that if one is going to venture into making edibles, there is a lot to learn, especially since there are so many kinds of strains of pot these days. A rookie mistake may have eaters lying on the floor wanting to go to the hospital or if you're Maureen Dowd, penning a now infamous column in the New York Times.

Marijuana. Photo courtesy of Feastly
Marijuana. Photo courtesy of Feastly

Attendees of Jeff’s class will also learn about the varieties of pot, and what kind should be used for what purpose. While there are over 100 strains, he said, these are usually hybrids of two major types of marijuana: Indica and Sativa. Indica causes one to feel relaxed or sleepy, while Sativa is known to be more energetic and uplifting (if you’re laughing hysterically, it’s most likely the Sativa at play).

“I tailor my food to what the person needs,” said Jeff. “If they have cancer and they’re dealing with pain, Indica is better, but if someone needs more energy and focus, and wants a happy-go-lucky experience, I’ll do something with Sativa. Every strain of marijuana has its own characteristics and the butters I make embody those characteristics to give people the experience they want.”

While this is his first foray into teaching, Jeff often cooks dinner parties for people, using edible pot in most courses. Just as a chef does, he calibrates the doses and timing, to provide the optimal experience for guests, without, hopefully, any guests, in his words, “freaking out.”

Through his own trial and error, he said, “I know exactly what I’m working with, so throughout an entire party people should not get more than the right amount for them in their food.”

Making CannaButter. Photo courtesy of Feastly
Making CannaButter. Photo courtesy of Feastly

Jeff added that there are two price levels for the class, one is just to observe, for $85, and at the higher level, $175, guests will leave with a kit to make their own CannaButter at home, except the marijuana, of course, which they will need to supply.

Discounts are offered for anyone who works at a Bay Area dispensary.

While Feastly was the one to approach Jeff, both are thrilled about the partnership and are excited to see where it could take them.

“We’re really excited about this, as we don’t think anyone has openly been doing this using medical marijuana and food together,” said Karesh.

Added Jeff: “I really see them as a huge outlet for me to get out there and set up these classes throughout the country, wherever medical marijuana is used.”

And not to harsh your mellow or anything, but no edibles will be ingested at Saturday’s class.

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“For this class, he’s not making any food,” said Karesh, “just showcasing how to use butter.” But who knows what could happen in the future. After all, his food has been vetted by the Feastly team, and Karesh concluded, “in innovative ways of food being a central component of one’s life, this guy is passionate about making cannabis butter and infusing medical marijuana into the food that he and others eat.”

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