Kelis' New Netflix Show Is a Cannabis-Infused Culinary Competition

Cooked with Cannabis challenges chefs to use the title ingredient for more than its best-known quality.

Netflix Cooking With Cannabis Food Show
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

If you've still not taken that first tentative bite of an edible, or you remain convinced that 'cannabis cuisine' is just a fancy way of saying pre-concert pot brownie, then this new cooking competition is definitely for you. I mean, it's also for marijuana enthusiasts, but it's essentially a six-episode illustration of the kind of culinary masterpieces that can be created with cannabis-infused ingredients.

You read that right: culinary masterpieces.

Cooked with Cannabis is co-hosted by singer and chef Kelis (yup, the one with the "Milkshake") and Portland-based chef Leather Storrs. (It's not Netflix's first cannabis-infused cooking competition, however—the streaming service previously released Cooking on High in 2018.) During each episode, three pro chefs work against the clock to create a three-course meal based around themes that range from world cuisine to futurist food to the kind of weed-heavy holiday menu that could make even your least favorite uncle seem tolerable. The prize for winning? A casual $10,000—"casual" as in it's not always mentioned heavily in each episode.

Kelis and Storrs are joined by an ever-changing group of dinner guests who get to sample each course, and who can chime in to help select each episode's winner. This season's guest list includes former talk show host Ricki Lake, actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, and rappers Too $hort and El-P.

"Cooked with Cannabis is a show where weed is a seasoning rather than the reason. It's granular, educational, heartfelt and smart," Storrs told Food & Wine. "The contestants had personal and romantic relationships with the herb and they knew its intricacies: medically, chemically, spiritually and as an intoxicant. Further, there was a real sense of community and camaraderie."

As for Kelis, she said that the opportunity to work on the show "kind of came to [her]," but that the overall experience was more powerful than she could've imagined. "It moved your heart in ways you didn't expect it to, because it is so culturally important," she said. "In this country, there are so many things that have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, so this could be all fun and games, but you look at it and go, you know what, this is important. People's lives have been affected in a really positive and negative way, and how do we take some control back?"

Storrs also praised everyone involved for taking the competition—and the concept of cooking with cannabis—so seriously. (For real, there's not a pot brownie to be found.) "Many of the chefs used the plant in non-psychoactive ways: as a flavoring, as a puree in fresh tortillas, or blended into a flour," he said. "This is a show for food people, for stoners and for folks that are curious about both."

Cooked with Cannabis premieres on Netflix on April 20.

4/20. Of course.

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