A Marijuana Dinner Party Grows Underground

There are many reasons for eating marijuana instead of smoking it—edibles give you a different sort of high, they say, and certainly delay the drug’s psychoactive effects, and pose no harm to your lungs—but flavor has not traditionally been one of them. The edibles of yore were concocted more for their potency than for their taste. Now, as weed becomes decriminalized and even legal in a handful of states, there’s a burgeoning interest in something new: really good food that will also get you high. In Oregon, there’s Laurie Wolf, the “Martha Stewart of edibles,” renowned for her cannabis recipes; in California, the über-hip chef Vanessa Lavorato sells beautiful chocolate caramels and other bonbons laced with THC, and co-hosts a Viceland show called “Bong Appétit.” (A recent episode featured Joan Nathan, the reigning Jewish-American cookbook queen, making matzo balls with fresh cannabis leaves, minced like any other herb. “It smells like parsley, absolutely,” she said.) Holden Jagger, the co-founder of Altered Plates, a “culinary collective” in Los Angeles, describes himself as a “ganjier”—a sommelier of weed. In cities like Portland and L.A., it’s not hard to find a dinner—whether a one-time special event or as part of a recurring supper-club series—featuring restaurant-quality dishes that just happen to incorporate cannabis.

In New York, where possession of a small amount of marijuana is as punishable as a traffic violation, and distribution of even a single joint is considered a misdemeanor, the options are much more limited, and concertedly Prohibition-style. Which is why, a couple of Fridays ago, just before 6 P.M., I found myself in an alley behind a large building, the exact location of which I’ve been asked not to disclose (I’d been told where to go only a few hours earlier), waiting to be let in to a “curated cannabis” dinner. Near a small motorboat parked on a trailer, a couple dozen guests milled about, growing impatient as it grew colder and six o’clock came and went. “You guys wanna smoke?” said a bearded redhead to his three friends. They disappeared behind the boat, and soon the smell of marijuana wafted through the air.

– Read the entire article at New Yorker.