Tacos & Tokes By Gabriella venturo

Chef Rosie O’Connor of Provecho Grill has hosted the first cannabis infused culinary event in Menifee. Tacos and Tokes was respectfully a private event concerning the legalities of the herb.

Since becoming recreationally legal this past January, marijuana has become more popular in the kitchen. We have seen a rise in recreational use for plenty of good reason. The herb offers many health benefits that serve as an alternative to ugly pain pills and other opioids many depend on.

Tacos and Tokes, a great name concerning the two featured items, food and cannabis, consisted of six different dishes with desert included. The dishes were heavily influenced by Rosie’s culture and her personal growth. Her background includes Japanese, Salvadorian, Mexican and Peruvian and the dishes reflected each of those. Four different strains of cannabis were used. Chef Rosie told us that there were 35 guests in attendance and the response from each was nothing but gratitude.

Chef Rosie was inspired to put on such an event from High Times Harvest Cup Chef Finalist Manny Mendoza. Mendoza has since then started Herbal Notes, a California-based supper club that serves cannabis infused meals.

She explains that the new laws of course were also a contributing factor of inspiration but until she attended a dinner put on by Mendoza she felt the timing could not have been better. “I thought to myself, this is the most incredible experience I have ever had”, said Chef Rosie.

Many people are consuming marijuana raw. Raw cannabis, meaning putting it into a smoothie or even eating it in a salad, actually does not cause the high (psychoactive side effects) associated with the herb, and like any other leafy green plant there are many nutrients packed into cannabis, like fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin C and some antioxidants. All of these are known to protect the body from harmful components.

There are 421 distinct chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. The primary compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been shown to play an important role in pain regulation and inflammation. Another compound of the marijuana plant, Cannabidiol (CBD) makes up about 40 percent of the plant's extract. CBD does not appear to have any psychoactive effects such as those caused by THC.

You might not be aware of how many restaurants and bars just in your backyard that are taking advantage of the new laws. West Hollywood’s Gracias Madre has been serving CBD since 2016. Pattern Bar, also in Los Angeles, serves several drinks featuring CBD. The trendy spot allows you to add cannabis to any drink for only $5. Prank Bar in downtown Los Angeles is also taking advantage of the miracle compound and serves cocktails infused with terpenes.

The legalities are similar to alcohol. Only licensed shops are allowed to sell to those who are 21 and older with a valid identification card. The state prohibits consumption in the public and you cannot drive under the influence. Lastly, a person is allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants per household as long as they are out of public view.

It seems as if more people are becoming accepting of the potential of this plant and all the medical benefits it provides. With the right amount of education, the stoner stigma of the drug might finally diminish once more are aware of the health benefits and more events like this are offered.

Keep your eye out for similar events on https://potguide.com/california/marijuana-events/event/2018-03-30/5-course-cannabis-infused-dinner-with-bb/.

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