This Cannabis Renegade Wants to Build a Better Edible—in Your Kitchen
Robyn Griggs Lawrence shows you how to be a canna chef without leaving home.
In the right kitchens, food and cooking are a political act, especially when the recipes for change include doses of THC. Educator and activist Robyn Griggs Lawrence is the author of, most lately, The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Feel-Good Food for Home Cooks. As a long-time top editor at Natural Home magazine and Mother Earth News, Lawrence has an uninterrupted history at the forefront of sustainable, conscientious, healthy—go ahead and say enlightened—living.
Recently, Robyn Griggs Lawrence's focus has shifted to the needs and practices of the exploding marijuana demographic. She has some ideas about medicated edibles that verge on revolutionary. Basically, she believes that the cannabis-infused foods you put into your body should be healthy in and of themselves.
Currently, R. Griggs Lawrence contends, you'll have a hard time purchasing prepared weed edibles that meet her criteria. But you can, with a little guidance, learn to make a better edible yourself in your own home.
In conjunction with Green Flower Media, Robyn Griggs Lawrence has issued a call to action, in the form of an online tutorial, "Cooking With Cannabis Learn the Fundamentals." Green Flower Media's cyber seminars promise to equip you with all the skills and knowledge an aspiring canna-chef needs to whip up edibles that will elevate your quality of life without screwing up your sugar levels.
The cyber seminar starts May 4, 2016, and is available for registration now.
The KIND: How did you make the transition from journalist to activist?
Robyn Griggs Lawrence: As editor-in-chief of Natural Home magazine and editor-at-large for Mother Earth News, I was something of a hybrid—a journalist advocate. A major part of my career has been about educating mainstream America about the importance of protecting the planet and creating healthy homes and environments. I’ve done this through the magazines I’ve run, as well as books, articles, and other venues like public speaking, workshops and events. I am basically doing the same thing now in the cannabis industry, though with a book rather than a magazine to anchor my efforts.
The KIND: Is marijuana use an extension of your work in sustainable housing and natural living?
Robyn Griggs Lawrence: Absolutely! I have advocated for natural medicine and healthy, chemical-free lifestyles for decades. This is a logical, natural extension of that work. I’m also very concerned about the environmental impact of the burgeoning cannabis industry. An important part of my work is making consumers aware of that impact and how to mitigate it. In the late 1990s, I was part of the movement that forced the federal government to implement organic standards for food. We had to fight hard for standards that protected consumers above all—e.g., not growing “ organic” food in sewage sludge. In much the same way, the cannabis industry is on the verge of having to address the issues of pesticide use, organic standards, and sustainable growing methods. This is even more important, perhaps, because medical patients with compromised immune systems are using cannabis as medicine.
Left: Lemon, Poppy Seed, and Cannabis Pancakes. Right: Wild Mushroom, Cannabis, and Hazelnut Pâté with Apple, Bacon, and Sage / Photos by Povy Kendal Atchison
The KIND: What are the benefits of cooking your own edibles, rather than buying prepared THC treats?
Robyn Griggs Lawrence: While the market is changing quickly, the bulk of what’s available in retail outlets is still largely sugar-laden. For people who want to limit or eliminate sugar from their diets, this is not workable. When you make your own edibles, you can use fresh, seasonal ingredients and tailor recipes to your own dietary needs.
My other big concern with cannabis edibles as they’re currently marketed is that they’re not designed for the way people really eat. No one wants to eat a quarter of a cookie. The danger of people over-imbibing is large (as we’ve seen by the increase in emergency room visits related to cannabis edibles in Colorado). It is much easier to dose—or microdose—correctly when you make your own cannabis cuisine. I’m also a huge advocate of consuming cannabis raw, and edibles made with raw flower and fan leaves are not yet available at retail. Consuming the whole plant, unadulterated, is the best way to get all of this miraculous vegetable’s health benefits, which include antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, and phytocannabinoids.
The KIND: How do the tenets of Simply Imperfect mesh with the marijuana mindset?
Robyn Griggs Lawrence: My book Simply Imperfect is focused on wabi-sabi, the Japanese art of finding beauty in things that are imperfect, impermanent, aged, and rustic. It’s based in Zen and brings in elements of simple living, slow food and design, and non-consumerism. The slowing down and natural living elements of this philosophy are definitely in sync with my cannabis lifestyle, but I can’t speak for the entire community on that one!
Left: Cannabis-Wheel Buns with Goji Berries and Chia Seeds. Right: Ganja Java Go-Juice / Photos by Povy Kendal Atchison
The KIND: What is your favorite, easy-to-learn weed recipe?
Robyn Griggs Lawrence: My friend Chris Kilham, the Medicine Hunter, taught me how to make a super simple Ganja Java Go-Juice using lightly infused milk and coffee. Chris lets the cannabis infuse into the milk for only 10 minutes. That gives him just the right morning pick-me-up. You can infuse the milk for longer to achieve the potency of your liking.