Munchies are not a myth: Using marijuana most certainly stimulates appetite. It can also make eating a more enjoyable experience, which is why for many pot users, the post-use meal is particularly enjoyable.
But not all marijuana users fall into the category of shut-ins who subsist on pizza delivery for their high time calories.
“Marijuana users go far beyond the ‘stoner’ stereotype,” Vancouver marijuana activist Jodie Emery tells Vancity Buzz via telephone. “Marijuana users are just as varied as all human beings,” Emery adds.
“Some marijuana users like fine dining, and go to all the hip restaurants in town,” she elaborates. Some, on the other hand, may work minimum wage jobs and be limited to what their financial situation accords them. Those pot users may be the ones hitting Granville Street for a bargain slice, their nearest McDonald’s, or a place like the Warehouse, where everything on the menu is $5.
“All food is good food to a pot consumer,” Emery jokes. “It all depends on your income, that’s all it breaks down to.”
While Emery does wish that the prevalent “stoners only eat pizza” stereotype would fade, she does admit that pizza can be the right choice for some pot users, but it’s always going to be a matter of personal taste and budget dictating where that pizza come from.
“I know a lot of pot smokers that would never go to a dollar pizza place, but I also know a lot of stoners who could never afford a $25 pizza,” she explains. Upping the bill might be the addition of beer or wine, but Emery notes that most habitual marijuana users are savvy enough to know their own tolerance levels, and rarely are they seeking to get totally wasted.
What does tend to appeal, says Emery, are the highly “sensory” experiences eating can offer. “Marijuana users can help the city develop and grow its restaurant industry because marijuana users enjoy sensory delight, and many restaurants open with an aim to provide a sensory experience, with high-quality food.”
Though Emery admits her busy lifestyle means she doesn’t get to be a “foodie” and eat out often besides grabbing a quick bite near the Cannabis Culture HQ on the edge of Gastown, she often suggests to those inquiring to enjoy a sensory meal at Nuba, or at Kobe Steakhouse in Vancouver.
Eating one kind of food versus another isn’t crucial to the post-pot dining experience, though Emery mentions that a hot topic right now is the connection between terpenes and marijuana–related to smells, which is, of course, a big part of eating. Also, points out Emery, there has been a lot of theorizing on the science of eating mangoes before or during marijuana use to enhance the high. (So maybe a great smoothie place, our our roundup of mango desserts in town should go on your must-try list if you’re a pot user.) Otherwise, there’s really nowhere you need to avoid if you’re choosing a pot-pot eating destination, says Emery.
There are some interesting things happening now when it comes to cooking with cannabis, or marijuana and food “pairing” dinners, but Emery says those she knows of are chiefly happening in the States, in places like Colorado, California, Washington, where they can promote it without much fear. Chefs and/or enthusiasts are doing stuff like juicing cannabis leaf, or using cannabis in cooking oils, for example.
When it comes to Vancouver, Emery wonders just how many of our talented local chefs have dreamed up their restaurant concepts or new dishes while using marijuana.
“Maybe one of the reasons vancouver has so much creativity in our food scene is because we also have this inspiring plant that’s being used,” she posits, adding, “a special herb in the kitchen.”
Here are a few ideas of where you might want to eat in Vancouver if you’re high:
Eating on a budget?
You might want to bookmark our Cheap Eats series for a weekly check-in at places in Vancouver ideal for those with their minds on their money and their money on their minds. Sometimes there’s nothing like a slice of pizza or a late-night grilled cheese to really satisfy a craving.
Looking for some sensory stimulation?
Go where you can eat with your hands, like Nuba, a favourite of Emery’s, where you can get right into a plate of hummus with your pita to scoop. Other interactive options are Korean BBQ or dim sum, where it’s always the more the merrier. Or head to a place like 720 Sweets or ON Yogurt, where the way they make their sweet treats is a spectacle to behold.
In need of some comfort?
There are some great old-school diners where you can get your greasy spoon fix with plates of eggs and pancakes; one of Emery’s top spots is Save On Meats. You can seek out some soul-satisfying mac and cheese at a few fun spots, such as Burgoo, Six Acres, or Buckstop, or get cozy with some pie or poutine.
Fancy something fancy?
Many of the city’s best new restaurants in recent months can provide a more fine dining vibe, and if you’re really flush (not just feeling it), you can indulge in high-end tasting menus at places like Bauhaus or Hawksworth.