Molecular Gastronomy Cannabis Consumption and ADHD w/ Legacy Cannabis Chef-Inventor JeffThe420Chef
JeffThe420Chef, author of The 420 Gourmet: The Art of Elevated Cannabis Cuisine is the creator of “Tasteless” canna-butter and canna-oils and the inventor of Culinary Cannabis, cannabis flower that mimics the smell and taste of familiar herbs and spices like oregano, rosemary, thyme and cinnamon. Using a secret process rooted in molecular gastronomy, Chef Jeff has been able to create cannabis ingredients that are simple to use and precisely dosed. Dubbed “The Julia Child of Weed” by The Daily Beast, and a legendary cannabis chef by Cheddar, JeffThe420Chef, works with cannabis in ways that no other cannabis chef in the world does. He has been redefining the cannabis consumption experience since 2012 with a mission “to make cooking with cannabis simple and easy for everyone and to bring the cannabis consumption experience into the mainstream”. In 2014, he pioneered “layered micro-dosing”, and created the popular “THC/CBD Calculator” app to help home cooks and chefs determine the approximate THC and CBD dosage of the edibles they make. Jeff is also a culinary instructor and teaches a series of classes called “The Art of Cooking with Cannabis” in medical and recreational states. The goal of his class is to help people understand the value of both cannabis and hemp as an ingredient, the power of THC and CBD as ingredients, how to gauge and manage the potency of edibles, and how to dose those edibles properly. JeffThe420Chef and his recipes are continuously featured in numerous high profile publications including the High Times, Cheddar TV, MerryJane, Emerald Magazine, The Forward, Culture Magazine and Edibles Magazine. He has also been featured on TruTV with Margaret Cho, Bakeout.tv, Vice, Business Insider, WeedmapsTV (soon to be released), Elite Daily, The Daily Beast, The Boston Globe The New York Daily News, The Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and more… I learned a LOT! I hope you do too- enjoy!
***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***
In this episode Peter & Jeff Danzer discuss:
:42 – Intro and welcome Jeff
3:29 – How did this become something you wanted to pursue?
5:25 – On becoming a more accomplished chef/moving forward while learning to create tastes people like
7:22 – On being ADHD and achieving acclaim & success. What type of systems did you put into place to partake and not fly off the rails?
9:38 – On scheduling while working on all different projects, keeping it all in line
10:45 – On cannabis, and how it changed your relationship with ADHD
11:44 – On certain situations where it made sense to work while high, and what to do when it’s time hyperfocus
12:53 – On feeling in control of a situation and taking care of business as far as negotiating, doing what needs to be done, etc.
14:45 – On advising people who might be fearful of partaking in either cannabis or hemp in the hopes of it helping with their ADHD
18:56 – Thank you Chef Jeff! https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via [email protected] or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!
19:41- Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits
Hi everyone, Peter Shankman here. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday wherever you happen to be. It is in fact, Wednesday here as well when we are recording this and it is a gorgeous day in New York City, a beautiful, beautiful day, uh, more and more people are getting vaccinated and pretty soon, we will all be able to go outside and start licking things again, as if there was no other care in the world. Hope you’re staying safe. We’ve got a fun guest today who is going to talk to us about, well, I’m gonna let him tell you what we’re going to talk about, but needless to say that it’s going to be a lot of fun and it might make you change how you think of, well, cannabis and weed and who the hell knows. Let’s just see. Jeff Danzer, otherwise known as https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ He’s the author of the https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/cookbook The Art of Elevated Cannabis Cuisine, is a creative tasteless canna butter and canna oils, and the inventor of culinary cannabis. Cannabis flower that mimics the smell and taste of familiar herbs and spices like oregano, rosemary, thyme and cinnamon using a secret process rooted in molecular gastronomy, which I’ve been to molecular gastronomy restaurants and oh my God, that’s so much fun. Jeff, Chef Jeff has been able to create cannabis ingredients that are simple to use and precisely dosed. He’s been dubbed the Julia Child of weed, by The Daily Beast and a legendary cannabis chef by cheddar Jeff. The 420 Chef works with cannabis in ways that no other cannabis chef in the world does. He’s been redefining the cannabis consumption experience in 2012, with a mission to make cooking with cannabis simple and easy for everyone, and to bring the cannabis consumption experience into the mainstream. He’s pioneered something called Layered Microdosing, created the popular https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/calculator It’s an app that helps home cooks and chefs determine exactly how much to put into the edibles they make. He’s a culinary instructor, he teaches a series of classes called… what else? The Art of Cooking with Cannabis in medical and recreational States. Jeff, you’ve been all over the place you’ve been mentioned in countless media outlets. I am so thrilled that you took the time to be on the podcast. Thanks so much, man.
Thank you so much for having me. I love what you’re doing and your podcast is pretty awesome. So you’ve got a fan on this side as well.
Thank you. So, you know, over, over time, I’ve heard a lot of, we’ve had several guests on the podcast who swear that cannabis and edibles and things like that have really changed how they handle their ADHD and how they handle their ADD. Um, it has, you know, it has benefited them in so many ways. Um, we’re really sort of entering a new mindset in terms of cannabis and in terms of weed and pot and all that, uh, you know, especially in New York where, where last week we just passed a law to make it legal. So, you know, talk to us, first of all, but how’d you, how’d you get involved in this? How, how did this become a thing that you wanted to pursue and then, and then we’ll move into, uh, what it can do?
Yes. I mean, I say, you know, uh, like many people, I also, um, have ADHD. I don’t say I suffer with it because it’s literally helped me get to exactly where I am today. Um, but I did, you know, way back in the day I used to smoke weed and it would totally calm me down and focus me. Um, I didn’t have to take any more Adderall, you know, I was literally able to focus with cannabis because it brought me into that state that I needed to, um, and it works for a lot of people in the same ways. And I was really just smoking for a very long time until, um, about 2010, um, a family member was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, and, uh, another person, um, one of my best friend’s mothers was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer, and they both wanted to medicate with cannabis, but didn’t want to smoke and wanted edibles. And at that time I was in the fashion industry, but I was always a really good cook and chef or so they say, and these people had asked me if I could maybe make them some infused, um, cookies or brownies or whatever, just so they could medicate with cannabis, you know, to make life a little easier, you know, towards the end of their journey here. And, um, first thing I did was go back to my college days and I made ’em brownies and cookies and they tasted terrible. Uh, they, in both of them said, well, it works, but it doesn’t taste right. So, you know, thanks, but no thanks. Yeah. You know, it’s like, they just hated the taste of the weed in their food. So basically I was challenged to take out the taste of the cannabis from the, um, uh, from the edibles.
Interesting. So, so… you had a whole goal of, okay. I know how to cook now. I’m going to make it taste like something that people would actually want.
Right. You know, so, you know, it took me a long time, took me about 18 months to figure it out, and, uh, unfortunately neither of them really got to experience it, you know, they got to experience along the way, you know, uh, how far I had gotten, but at the point where I actually finally figured out how to remove the taste from my edibles, unfortunately they were not able to, uh, you know, to enjoy it. Um, but since then many other people have, and I cooked for a lot of sick people. Um, that’s where it really started this. And you know the thing that I realized that people that are seriously ill, terminally ill, is that, you know, they want to enjoy as much of life as possible, not knowing that they’re medicating. And a big part of it was, you know, if you’re going to taste the weed in your food, they know you’re medicating when you’re eating and that just makes it even worse. So if you’re already nauseous and feeling really bad, you know, from their medications or the chemo or whatever else that you’re getting, the last thing you want to do is put something in your mouth, you know, it’s a try to eat, that’s going to make you feel even sicker. So, you know, we try to make, you know, great tasting food, that they didn’t, they didn’t have to eat a lot of that would, you know, make them feel good, maybe increase their appetite a bit. And, um, Uh, yeah, get them to that point where maybe they might have something that they would enjoy. So, um, like I said, it took me about 18 months to get to that place. I finally figured out how to do it, and from there on, um, just, I mean, uh, I met with a guy from The Daily Beast, gave him one of my cupcakes… a week and a half later an article came out, said “meet the Julia Child of Weed.” Newsweek did…. Newsweek did like a, I think a four-page thing on me in their Weed 2.0 Edition, and uh, things just skyrocketed from there, to the point where I literally left my fashion career in New York, closed down my business and moved to California to become a cannabis chef. And in the interim, um, I got a book deal with Harper Collins to write The 420 Gourmet. And I had been approached by alot of really well known chefs out there through Facebook, because at the time that’s all we really had to communicate and they’re like, listen, can you teach me how to do what you do? And I said, oh, sure, you know, but you would have to teach me some skills in return. I didn’t charge them any money for it, but I asked for skills and before I knew it, I became an award-winning cannabis chef. And then the rest is history.
Now, you’re ADHD. So talk to us, talk to us about how you’ve managed to achieve this level of success. Uh, success and still be ADHD. Is it, is it strict from cannabis or, you know, what, what sort of systems we put into place to live your life and do it in such a way that you’re, you’re not flying off the rails?
Well, the crazy thing is that I was always all over the place with everything that I did, but, you know, I came up with this mission way back when, when I started… to make the cannabis consumption experience, simple and easy for everyone, and everything that I do, falls within that, but there’s many different things that I could do. So instead of having to focus just on one thing, I was able to focus on the cookbook and I was able to do classes and focus on those. I was able to take small pieces and actually create little businesses around these small pieces. So when we have catering, we have, um, education, we have, you know, the cookbook. We have, um, obviously all the PR stuff that I do out there, we have a new company called https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/scarborough-fair-market which as you mentioned earlier, we have cannabis, that’s culinary cannabis, which mimics the order and tastes of herbs like oregano basil, thyme, cinnamon and, etc. Now we’re doing the same thing with hemp, so I’ve been able to take all of that and create little, um, I guess, spinning a silos. And each one of those only takes a small chunk of my time every day. So I’m able to do all these different things that I enjoy and that I can focus on for a very short period of time before I move on to the next thing. And that’s always been, my problem is that, you know, I… I’ve, I can focus on something for a short period of time, but I can’t focus on it for a long period of time. I could only imagine being ADHD, how difficult it was to write that cookbook, right? But again, I broke up the cookbook into different parts. First, I did the recipes, then I explained, you know, on the head notes, what they were. But then I went to a whole new, uh, version of it where I was telling you how many milligrams are in each serving of everything that you make within that cookbook. It was a whole different project that I was then able to incorporate into that cookbook. So for me, being able to take everything in small little pieces and then sew them together to meet that mission of making cooking the cannabis for the cannabis consumption experience, simple and easy for everyone was how I did it and how I used my ADHD to create all this.
Did your schedule at all? I mean, was everything did you have to schedule the times like, OK, from 9-10 I’m going to be working on this aspect from 10 to 11 we’re working on dosage from the, you know, how did you put that together?
Yeah, loosely and I still do it that way, you know? So like, you know, I know that, you know, for example, in the mornings I will work from full. I started around 4am, 4 or 5am, so for 4 or 5am, I answer my emails, do whatever I can get all this stuff out of the way. And yeah, it’s done. Then all of a sudden I’m like, okay, I have a dinner party coming up. So I’ve got, you know, an hour or two to start working on the dinner party, get those emails out of the way, get my list together, get my shopping list together. And then on to my next thing, you know, the next thing might be, you know, with the culinary cannabis, working on packaging, then we’ll, you know, I’ll call my packaging guys. I’ll get my guys and say, Hey, let’s do this. You know? And it’s a whole different thing. We have a website business, um, you know, that’s running on one side selling the culinary hemp now, uh, we have, I mean, all these different businesses and I’ve got some great people, you know, they’re helping me, you know, spearhead this, but literally I’m able to do everything by taking my time and maximizing it in chunks. So I do schedule, but I would say I loosely schedule because I know that sometimes I go over, sometimes I go under.
How has cannabis in, in a few words, how has it changed your relationship with ADHD?
Uh, I think it’s calmed me down a lot. I will tell you that when I wrote my book, um, I was bong hitting on a constant basis and I started doing edibles just because it allowed me to just sit there and focus on what I was supposed to do. Um, but on the other side of it, you know, some of this stuff I really didn’t want to be high when I was writing, for example, you know, the headnotes was fine, but when you’re talking about a recipe, you really need to be focused on that recipe, and I wanted to make sure that I had all, everything, all the ingredients and all of the, um, the measurements, etc, needed to be precise, you know, so to do that, you know, when you’re cooking, especially the equivalent weight, it’s easy to just throw it over to this and throw a little bit of that, and, but in order to really be able to, um, uh, to focus on what actually the actual ingredients were, that’s when I really didn’t smoke or,,,, but I didn’t have cannabis.
I find it interesting in the respect that, you know, what was it, uh, what did Hemingway say? Write drunk, edit sober? Yeah, that’s very true, so the same principle, the same premise. Um, tell me about, uh, situations where, you know, it’s not necessarily prudent to be working while high, right? And what is, what happens when you need to focus or you need to do something about your ADHD? Uh, you know, you can’t. A microdose, do you can’t, you can’t eat an edible or something like that because you need to be always there.
Wait, you definitely don’t want to be operating, um, any equipment or heavy machinery machinery, you know, that’s for sure. Yeah. I also feel that, you know, if you really need to be engaged, um, a little bit, a little bit of cannabis is actually a really good thing, you know, for me when I have business meetings and stuff, and I really need to be engaged a lot more on when I’ve taken an edible about an hour before my business meeting, and I can literally sit there and engage and my personality. It just, I think it, it, it almost like blossoms more when I don’t have, when I, you know, when I don’t have cannabis in my system, you know what? I haven’t had an edible or smoke. Um, I’m a lot more tense.
And you feel like, you feel like you feel like you’re in control, you feel like you’re not like you can go in and negotiate or do whatever it is you have to do?
Yeah. Yeah. You know, I feel like I’m, I’m in a lot more control as a matter of fact, let’s say an interesting story. When we, uh, we, we got our license to open up one of the first cannabis edibles restaurants in West Hollywood. And, um, part of that process was also going up in front of the business license commission and speaking on behalf of the other, uh, lounges and restaurants that, um, wanted to open up and giving them, you know, the prompts and actually supporting them, and I remember right before one of these meetings, I was testing some of my culinary cannabis and I made a, um, uh, a dish called Stuffed Shells. Now I had had that, those stuffed shells at around three o’clock in the afternoon. And the BLC meeting was at 6:00 PM. I get there at 6:00 PM and I am flying. I mean, I was super high, I didn’t realize how potent this this edible was, I mean, that’s actually one of the more potency tests. And I was like, Oh my God, like I should be done with this, but I just kept getting higher and higher. And all of a sudden they call me up to speak on behalf of this company. And, you know, thank thankfully, you know, I had written out my notes on my phone, so at least I had something to look at, but I literally looked at my phone, glanced at the notes, put my phone down and then just spoke on behalf of this company to the point where everybody who is in the audience, listening, you know, like in the, I guess they call it the, um, the gallery or whatever, just started clapping because it was that intense and passionate. It just came straight out. And like, as I walked back, my business partners, from the lounge were like “damn, that was crazy, I hope you do that for us.” And I was like, dude, that was the culinary cannabis. So I mean, it definitely helps for me, you know, it definitely helps, you know, in certain business settings, other ones, you know, as when I’m creating, I love being high, right. But when I’m doing a dinner party for people, I’m not.
What do you say, um, to someone who, uh, has maybe never tried or has tried pot once, like in college and, and has heard from people though, that it can benefit ADHD, , or you know, let me, let me rephrase that. What do you say to me….. who is someone who has tried pot like once or twice in his life and has never has never thought about it as a way to manage or control my ADHD? Um, you know, there’s a part of me that’s a little scared to do it, right? How does, how does one start in that regard?
Well, for starters, cannabis today is very different than it was back in the day. Right. So I’ve been smoking cannabis for God 44 years. That’s a long time. I’m 58 years old.
Yeah I was going to say, I assume you’re not like 45, right?
Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m actually 58, and although people think I’m a lot younger, cause I guess my, my energy is a bit younger. I blame that on the ADHD too, which is great. Um, but you know, at the end of the day I’ve been at this for a long time. It’s different today. And there are a lot of, uh, we’ll be called canni-curious people out there that either like yourself had tried it once or twice back in the day, and they’re maybe afraid of it. Now we’re learning to what does he know with all the fuss is about now and they want to check it out. They may want to check out hemp CBD, but you know, they still want to feel what a high feels like, etc. What I would say is this, first of all, make sure you get clean cannabis from somebody. Also, you should try both, um, smoking and or vaping and also edibles, cause those are two different feelings and no matter what you do start very, very low and go very, very slow. What does that mean? So if it comes down to an edible, a low-dose edible, is about two and a half milligrams of THC. Most people who are new to this, they’ll feel two and a half milligrams of THC, but it’s going to feel like they maybe had half a glass of wine. If you want to feel like you had more than half a glass of wine, a five milligram edible is probably the most that I would suggest for somebody just starting out. And that’ll probably make you feel like you’ve had about a glass. to a glass and a half, depending on how your body processes it. Some people have five milligrams and they’re like, Oh man, this is too much, so that’s why I say start with two and a half, but you know, if you want to go higher, you can. Um, I never take anybody above 10 at our dinner parties, unless they’ve proven that they’re what they called a decca-doser. So people are just starting out just a very low and very slow when it comes to smoking. If you’re going to smoke something to make sure you’re getting clean cannabis from a legal dispensary, and I would only do one hit. And see how that makes you feel then about five minutes. So it’s got a quick onset time. Something else you should know with edibles is that with the exception of the culinary cannabis, that we’re now getting ready to put out there into the market, most edibles take about two hours to kick in. So you can have a gummy or you can have a bite of a cookie and be like, Oh, this tastes good. If I’m not feeling anything, I’ll try more. Don’t do it. Wait two hours and see how you feel. You know, it’s one of the biggest problems people have is like, Oh, I eat the whole cookie. Cause I didn’t feel anything. And then all of a sudden, two hours later they’re flying kite.
You know, I’ve heard stories, you know,
I always say go low. Yeah. So you’ve got to really go low. You have to abide by the rules until you understand what it’s all about, how it makes you feel. But two and a half milligrams, you know, a bite of a cookie or, you know, a half of a gummy bear or something like that, you know, that’s a five milligram, you know, make sure you know the dosage and get it from a legal, reputable dispensary.
Amazing. Amazing. What cool stuff. How can people find you, Jeff? What, where can they go?
Well,it’s https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ anywhere you look. So it’s https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ that’s our website, um, https://www.instagram.com/jeffthe420chef/?hl=en on Instagram, if you want to see all the fun stuff we’re creating. Um, then we have https://twitter.com/jeffthe420chef?lang=en for some, you know, some of my thoughts and comments and stuff, um, that you can reach out to me through https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ or you can also reach out to me through a DM’ing on Instagram. Um, so just, you know, and also https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4c5MriI1vcHd45S5O2ntbA, we have a really great YouTube channel, right? Teach people how to do things at home. Do-it-yourself became really big this past year. And this has increased five fold this year, our, in our online business, um, where we actually sell products having to do with cooking with cannabis, um, that business has increased five fold. Um, my classesI do virtual classes, those have increased scale tremendously because people want to learn how to do things in home. And cannabis was an essential business, so they had the weed, but they didn’t know how to, you know, how to, how to work with it. So, you know, things like that have been doing really well, and then you can reach me those ways.
Very cool. Uh, all right guys, this, this was….. eye opening. I learned a lot about this. This is really cool. We’re going to have to have you back. We’ll have to do a follow up on this side a couple of months. Most definitely. Guys, you’ve been listening to Peter Shankman and https://www.fasterthannormal.com/ um, that was Jeff Danzer with https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ who, uh, yeah.Um, Wow. That was pretty cool. Thank you for that. I appreciate that. Um, guys, if you like what you’ve heard, drop us a note, let us know. Uh, Jeff came recommended, um, as a guest by someone and, uh, we would love more recommendations. So if you have anyone you think should be on the podcast. Please tell us we would love to have them on as well. Shoot me an email atwww.petershankman.com or @petershankman on all the socials. We will see you next week. Keep safe, stay healthy. And remember, your ADHD is a gift, it’s not a curse. Thanks for listening, we’ll talk to you soon.
Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week.