ETC / Interviews

Interview with Chef Mike DeLao on Elevate The Conversation

Ever thought to yourself: “Hmmm … I’ve had all sorts of marijuana edibles, from cookies to brownies. So why not gourmet cannabis cooking, and getting away from all the sweet, sugary stuff?” Well, Chef Mike DeLao, who runs the website, thought the same. We are fortunate to have him in the studio with us on Thursday 5th January 2017, so tune into Elevate the Conversation with Doctor Frank at 9pm PST on United Broadcast Network (UBN) and I Heart Radio.

To give a little background, Chef Mike specializes in BBQ food, with his company Sweetjay’s BBQ providing a full-service catering experience – with or without the cannabis infusion. Chef Mike Also makes his own oils, butters and concentrates. DeLao has been a professional chef for 15 years, and a medical marijuana user for 13 years after discovering its medical and therapeutic effects whilst working in the kitchens of Orange County – most notably Michelin-starred chef Joachim Splichal.

“The byproducts of marijuana, such as hemp seeds, are also full of essential nutrients”

Despite being a medical marijuana patient, DeLao used to work for his edibles by providing a local dispensary his skills after a bad experience. “They tasted horrible,” he says. “The next day I went and offered my services, just to work for cookies at that point.” Being a bit of a foodie, DeLao decided to fuse his two passions together. “… [I]t never stopped from there. As my culinary influences changed, so did my cannabis ingestion.”
For anyone even passingly familiar with the effects of cannabis, chefs working with marijuana shouldn’t be a surprise. For many, getting the “munchies” is one of marijuana’s most pleasurable effects, and going on a search to find the perfect fix is the stuff films are made of. It should also not come as a surprise that cooking with marijuana leads to more experimentation.

“Cannabis will go even more mainstream and will get away from all the sweets and start to get into savory. Cannabis enthusiasts are starting to want a full dining experience.” Mike is the first chef to cook with cannabis on nationally syndicated television in 2009 on Cannabis Planet, which underlines his point.
The other thing that will likely intrigue chefs like Mike is marijuana as an ingredient. Figuring out how to exploit all of marijuana’s terpenes for new and unusual flavours ought to excite chefs the world over. The potential health benefits are huge, too, as diners can get all the health benefits out of marijuana’s cannabinoids via a fine dining experience.

The byproducts of marijuana, such as hemp seeds, are also full of essential nutrients like Omega 3, 6 and 9. In this video, Mike DeLao shows us how to make hemp milk and take advantage of such an amazing superfood. Mike also sees CBD becoming a staple food in the American diet, and says “Once hemp is taken out of the American diet, cancer runs rampant in the country.”

Scientists, doctors, breeders and growers have all helped find out about marijuana’s many cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. Will adding chefs to the mix help us discover even more about marijuana’s uses and health benefits? Will world-class chefs be able to exploit these compounds to their fullest and experience effects that we’ve never had before, as well as potentially discovering new cannabinoids and terpenes? We definitely think so!

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