Robyn Griggs Lawrence’s The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook is the premier upscale cookbook for enthusiasts and foodies, covering everything from brunch to late-night cocktails and snacks.
When did you develop a passion for infused-cooking?
I’d self-medicated before I had kids, but I knew nothing about the new world of cannabis when I registered with the state of Colorado as a licensed medical marijuana patient. My medical card gave me access to dispensaries, where I discovered that cannabis came in many complex varieties, potencies, and flavors (not just schwag or kind bud), as well as the world of edibles. I began to see it as a superfood, a medicinal ingredient.
How did you learn about what you needed to know?
The answers weren’t online, so I turned to experts—real people who know the plant from years of study and experimentation. Matt Davenport, a cannabis grower and consultant who’s introducing permaculture techniques to the industry, schooled me about how to buy—and eventually grow—the healthiest, safest raw material. Ethnobotanist Chris Kilham, the Medicine Hunter, gave me a primer based on decades spent tracking cannabis around the world and finding ways to incorporate it into exquisite food. Mixologist Rabib Rafiq taught me to mix a mean cannabis cocktail, caterer Jane West shared secrets for making everyone comfortable that she’s learned from years of throwing cannabis-focused events.
Do you have a favorite edibles company?
Sweet Mary Jane, a fantastic Boulder-based baker.
How is the book selling?
Great! It was in the top twenty for gourmet cookbooks and No. 1 in new gourmet cookbooks, as well as in the herbs and condiments category. It was the No. 4 book on the Denver Post’s non-fiction list and will go into a second printing next month.
What are you working on now?
I’ll debut an online cooking course, Cooking with Cannabis: The Fundamentals, in early March. I’m also working on a feature-length documentary featuring cannabis chefs, experts and cuisine.
Q&A: POVY KENDAL ATCHISON, PHOTOGRAPHER, THE CANNABIS KITCHEN COOKBOOK
How was shooting infused meals different from other shoots?
Cannabis-infused food can be a challenge to photograph—lots of browns and earthy greens. By working with food stylists and chefs, creating the perfect lighting, combining the food with different colored plates and backdrops, and paring the dishes with complementary sides and garnishes, we were able to make the food look delicious.
What is your relationship with cannabis?
I have seen many friends and family benefit from its medicinal properties.
What are you photographing now?
I’m always shooting food, commercial or editorial. I also recently completed a project called “69 Days,” photographing 69 different people in a sixty-nine-day period, but the Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook was kind of a dream come true.
To carry The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook in your shop: SkyhorsePublishing.com
Photography by Povy Kendal Atchison