For 22 years, Allan Pineda has been a chef, but it’s only been the last two years that he’s been experimenting with his newest ingredient: cannabis.
Pineda has been dealing with arthritis for the last few years, and it was once so bad, he had to stop cooking. He wondered whether he’d ever do so again.
“A few years ago, I was in a pretty bad spot,” Pineda said. “I was actually drinking a lot.”
But a medical marijuana prescription helped relieve his pain and allowed him to get back in the kitchen. And he soon learned he could make a meal out of his prescribed pot.
Since then, he’s showed off his recipes and taught a number of classes and done demonstrations at cannabis conventions.
“Some people don’t want to smoke joints. Some people have respiratory issues and that’s where the edibles come in,” Pineda said.
He emphasizes it’s not just the typical cookies and brownies that he’s making. Ribs, brisket, chicken, cakes are just some of the foods he cooks.
And he anticipates teaching more classes as marijuana becomes legal on Oct. 17.
“I’m getting pretty old, so maybe a younger generation of cooks can start learning this.”
Pineda also hosts a dinner series every couple of months called Flatlands Infused, where medical marijuana prescribers gather at a location revealed just hours before and eat a six-to-eight-course meal of all cannabis dishes.
“Everybody’s having a good time. Nobody complains about the food so the reception is really great,” he said.
But once legalization rolls around, he warns those trying it for the first time to be careful dealing with edibles and how much to use.
“Everybody reacts differently,” Pineda said.
“Go low and slow with small portions and then work your way up until you find your sweet spot.”
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