By Véronique Lettre
I’ve recently had the chance to chat to my mentor in terms of cannabis cuisine: Jeff Danzer.
1- So Jeff, what was your « trigger » to become a cannabis chef ?
I started cooking with Cannabis in 2009 when my friend’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. She had what they called a a “medical recommendation” to use cannabis to help her with the side effects of the chemotherapy but she did not like to smoke. I offered to make her a cake and some cookies with the cannabis and it helped her a lot! She then challenged me to try to remove the cannabis taste from the edibles. It took me 18 months, but I did it! Once I figured that out word spread. I realized that I had a special gift to give and started cooking and baking with cannabis for others who were ill and saw how much it actually helped them. I also realized that what I was doing was making the cannabis consumption experience simple and easy for everyone. It was then that I decided to drop everything else I was doing and focus on becoming the world’s best cannabis chef!
2- What do you love the most about your « job » ?
What I love most about my job is how creative I can be with my recipes. Now that I have figured out how to remove the pungent taste and how to make great tasting food with cannabis, the sky is the limit with what I can offer guests.
3- What do you think will be the biggest challenges in the upcoming years?
I think the two biggest challenges in the upcoming years are going to be educating consumers about the true health benefits of cannabis as it becomes more mainstream and competing with the black market. The heavy taxes and the price of compliance that the governments are putting on legal cannabis businesses are making price an issue. As long as consumers can get good quality cannabis from the black market, legal retailers will face an uphill battle toward profitability.
4- What are you most proud of ?
I am most proud of my amazing 3 sons who have been incredibly supportive of me since I embarked on this journey. From a business perspective I am most proud to have invented the FreeLeaf process which removes the odor and taste from cannabis. When you smoke FreeLeaf there is no cannabis odor and when you use it for culinary infusion, there is no cannabis taste!
5- If you could give 3 advices to people who wants to cook with cannabis, what would it be ?
My advice to anyone who wants to cooks with cannabis is to first learn everything you can about the plant and how it works both as an ingredient and as an herbal medicine. Next, you’ll need to understand dosing and the importance of low-dosing or micro-dosing when creating cannabis infused edibles and last, but certainly not least. stay informed and understand the ever changing laws and what you can and can’t do legally.