The honest truth is that most cannabis cookbooks follow the same form and format. The first few chapters are usually spent illuminating the basics of cannabis, from dosage, decarboxyation and terpenes to tips for picking and pairing strains with recipes. What makes each of these culinary efforts distinct is the personality the author is able to infuse into their work.
So for anyone already familiar with Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey, it absolutely makes sense that her book, “The Art of Weed Butter,” emphasizes the art of infusion in a way that demonstrates her love and appreciation for “her first boyfriend” — aka weed. And those hearing about her for the first time will be delighted to learn about the creative and enchanting force she calls a “cosmic hybrid” of her favorite things: cuisine, cannabis and words.
Though she’s not a chef, Aggrey has been involved in the cannabis industry for over a decade. It’s clear she has a deep appreciation not only for the power of food to nourish and heal, but also for how it can bridge connections between people and across cultures. “The Art of Weed Butter” has eight chapters and offers a selection of 35 infused recipes, and also provides infusion instructions. Readers can learn how to infuse alcohol, lecithin, bacon grease (can you say genius?) and ghee.
Like most cooks, Aggrey’s personal life heavily influences what she likes to make. As a resident of Mexico City with West African heritage, many of the recipes she includes reflect a clear connection between her roots and her chosen home: fried plantains, Philly jalapeño crema, esquites (Mexican street corn) and her mother’s signature West African fried chicken all grace the pages of this cookbook. But her book has a little something for everyone — including vegans.
In the best way possible, this cookbook is a good choice for people who are not necessarily interested in a culinary challenge. It’s down to earth, informative and relatable. Aggrey does an excellent job of writing in a way that flows like conversation. Sometimes, in the pursuit of so-called elevation, some cookbooks toe the line when it comes to alienating the average, casual at-home cook who just wants to put some weed in the types of food they already eat. Aggrey’s recipes effortlessly cover some much-needed basics like infused tomato sauce, balsamic vinaigrette, cheesy flatbread pizza and even avocado toast.
The work itself is alignment with her passion for inclusivity in the cannabis industry, where so few black women break through into leadership roles. It’s imperative that more voices are added into the cannabis conversation, so the fact that this book is written by a black woman and features images of her brown hands making magic in the kitchen with cannabis is more important than many people may realize. She joins the ranks of other black women, like Andrea Drummer and Cedella Marley, who have also created their own collection of recipes infused with cannabis.
This is a good cookbook for anyone looking for a thoughtful, unintimidating guide to infusion with recipes for foods you’re already making and want to figure out how to infuse. It’s substantial while still being a light read, and it manages to be interesting and entertaining thanks to Aggrey’s cool, calm and collected writing style. If you’re wondering if you need yet another cookbook with a cannabis tilt, the answer could easily be no. But if you’re in the mood for something familiar with a little bit of flair, this collection is definitely worth checking out.
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