Cannabis Cooking Goes High End


With marijuana now legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia, industries are cashing in on the increasing accessibility of pot. Wired outlined legal marijuana’s $40 billion future, and Forbes called legal cannabis this year’s “best startup opportunity.” The book industry is no exception, and traditional publishers are getting in on the action by releasing two upscale cannabis cookbooks this year.

Karin Lazarus, the owner of Sweet Mary Jane, a popular Boulder, Colorado spot for baked medical marijuana-laced edibles, has been called the “Martha Stewart of weed baking” by New York magazine, and is the star of Colorado’s growing canni-business industry. Her debut cookbook, Sweet Mary Jane: 75 Delicious Cannabis-Infused High-end Desserts, is due out in June.

When Lazarus approached the publisher with her cookbook idea, they immediately loved it. “There are plenty of stoner cookbooks to be found on the internet and in specialty stores but, as far as we know, Sweet Mary Jane is the first major effort by one of the Big Five publishing houses to publish a high-end cannabis cookbook that provides real, gourmet baking recipes,” said Avery associate editor Gigi Campo. She also added there’s been little resistance in terms of marketing, as booksellers and distributors, even in states where weed hasn’t been decriminalized, seek out the cookbook.

Lazarus walks cooks through the importance of labeling, changing legal issues, required equipment, potency limits, and other potholes. The old addition of “lawn clippings” into chocolate-y brownie mix is a thing of the past, Lazarus explained. Her new application infuses it into sugar, the “magical ingredient” which masks the grassy flavor of the herb most effectively, concocting recipes such as Smashing Pumpkin White Chocolate-Pumpkin Bars, Mad Batter Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, and Pot Tarts.

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