Cooking shows aren’t normally my cup of tea.
But, that may all change on Jun 22.
Netflix—creator of Stranger Things and savior of Arrested Development—has announced the first ever competitive cannabis cooking show.
And, while the media giant doesn’t have a great track record of representing stoners accurately (see Disjointed), they have shown their commitment to cannabis in the past—even developing their own limited release strains based on Netflix original series.
With that in mind, I have high hopes for the show.
Here’s everything I know about the upcoming series.
The Name: Cooking On High
“Cooking On High” sounds like a name you’d give a cannabis cooking show.
Good work, Netflix. I guess.
Personally, I would have gone with something like “Getting Baked” or “Weeding the Dough.”
The Format: Exactly What You’d Expect from a Cooking Show
Netflix seems content using the same format found on every other competitive cooking show… ever.
According to High Times, 10 competitors will compete to create marijuana-infused dishes, which are then presented to a panel of 4 celebrity judges.
Not much else is known about how the competition will work.
If the show is like Chopped, competitors will be given specific ingredients they must use to craft a three-course meal: appetizer, entrée, dessert.
That format seems likely to me: multiple “rounds,” each with a unique caveat. That would allow the show to incorporate challenges around certain strains and potencies, as well as the traditional critiques of flavor and presentation.
We can also assume the show will be less angry than Hell’s Kitchen (Chef Gordon Ramsey). After all, the competitors and judges will almost certainly be stoned.
The People Involved: Josh Leyva & Ngaio Bealum
We don’t know which celebrities will be participating as judges.
It also isn’t clear if the “chefs” competing will be professionals or everyday stoners who just enjoy cooking with cannabis.
And, that could mean the difference between an exciting competition full of amazing recipes and a show about people who need help learning how to decarb their weed.
I’m not counting on it, but I would love to see chefs from different edible companies competing to develop new dishes. Not only would this make the competition more compelling, but we would have a chance to see a bit about how these chefs approach their work.
What we do know is that YouTube star Josh Leyva is set to host, with comedian and cannabis activist Ngaio Bealum serving as the show’s “culinary weed expert.”
If you’re like me, you approach YouTube celebrities with a greater sense of caution than optimism.
So, what can we expect from Josh Leyva?
His YouTube channel has a wide range of content, from personal videos (as you’d expect) to spoof music videos, from a Gucci Gang parody to this hip hop ode to tacos.
Leyva has a 2 million followers on YouTube, but most cannabis consumers will be more excited about the inclusion of Ngaio Bealum.
If you aren’t familiar with Bealum’s work, he originally hosted Cannabis Planet and publishes West Coast Cannabis Magazine. In 2014, he appeared on Doug Benson’s Getting Doug with High podcast and immediately became a fan favorite guest—both for his chill personality and his extensive marijuana knowledge.
Between Leyva and Bealum, the show is starting strong with a diverse cast. And while I don’t know about Leyva’s background with cannabis, Bealum is sure to bring the show some much-needed credibility among cannabis connoisseurs.
The Rating: 18+
As you would expect from a show that focuses on a federally illegal drug, the show is rated 18+.
Reasons to Watch: Entertainment (with a Side Serving of Edible Education)
Cooking competitions are entertaining.
Depending on where you live and what channels you get (if you’re still watching live TV), there are up to 18 days’ worth of cooking episodes aired every week. That’s more than 400 hours of cookery!
And if you enjoy the traditional cooking show format, chances are you’ll like Cooking On High when it releases in late June.
More than just entertainment value, though, the show should provide everyday cannabis consumers new THC-infused recipes and advanced methods for decarboxylation. And, bolstered by cannabis activist Ngaio Bealum, I expect we’ll learn a little something extra with each episode: cannabis history, flavor profiles for different strains, extraction methods, and more.
If you’ve been thinking about cooking with marijuana, this is your chance to learn some while you burn some.
My Concern: Stoner Stereotypes
Marijuana is too popular to ignore. And it’s nice to see a new show being developed that could help normalize marijuana for non-consumers.
But, cannabis consumers are all too familiar with the pitfalls that come with “stoner” shows and movies. We’re often represented as lazy, hungry stereotypes. And Netflix made that mistake with Disjointed (cancelled after one season).
And that’s my biggest concern for the show.
Chances are most people who watch the series will be cannabis consumers. But we’re a diverse lot. Some of us appreciate the overdone “stoner” humor. Others are tired of being a punchline, and we’d rather see professionals who represent cannabis in a positive light… like Bealum.
And that could make it hard for the show to build the audience it needs to last. But it also makes what Netflix is trying exciting. They’re breaking new ground. And whether the show succeeds or not, it’s a step in the right direction.
Done properly and thoughtfully, this could be a huge hit (pun intended).
If the show devolves into weed puns and jokes about dry mouth, though, I wouldn’t hold my breath for a second season.
Get Baked & Watch Baked Bakers Baking…
Will you be tuning in to Cooking On High this month? Tell us what you think about the upcoming show and share your predictions and picks for celebrity judges in the comments.
And stop by Karing Kind in North Boulder to stock up on top-shelf, clean-grown bud and CO2 extracted cannabis oil.
Karing Kind is located just off of US-36, one mile north of Broadway, open MON-SUN from 9am to 10pm.
While we carry a variety of strains, concentrates, edibles, salves and tinctures, inventory and stock levels fluctuate from week to week. Check our menu and follow us on Twitter for an up-to-date list of edibles, concentrates and buds available.