Chef Highlight: Monica Lo, Sous Weed

  • by Mary S.

You may be familiar with the sous vide (pronounced sue veed) method of cooking, if not - it’s pretty simple - don’t worry. However, if you’ve used the more contemporary “sous weed” way of preparing cannabis-based foods, you have Monica Lo to thank. Lo treats cannabis as the nutrient-rich vegetable ingredient that it is and has incorporated in into five-star recipes using this headily adapted French method of preparation.

Sous vide is the process of placing food, or in the case of sous weed carrier oil and cannabis, into a sealed bag or airtight container and then cooking it in water at a precise temperature on the stovetop or in a crockpot. When using this method to make cannabis-based foods, it minimizes the smell of weed-infused air to almost zero, when normally the aroma of marijuana can waft out beyond overpowering when cooking in the open.

Lo is an educator at heart and the sequel to her first, collaborative, award-winning book, Sous Vide at Home, came out this fall, titled, Sous Vide Made Simple. And the method truly is that: simple, especially when using the machines crafted exactly for the purpose of cooking in the sous vide manner. Now, with sous weed, Lo has gone above and beyond to teach people a new way to make healthier edibles that won’t have overcooked infusions.

Aside from food education, Lo also works to change public opinion on cannabis. One of her main venues of contribution is photography for the movement. She is a frequent contributor to Stock Pot Images, Menu Stories and she shot photos for Ganja Yoga, which was published out of the Harper Collins family.

Monica Lo Sous Weed

Though you or your landlord may appreciate the lack of odor provided by sous weed cooking, there are more reasons than one to utilize the method. For another, you can walk away from the pot and not worry about frequently stirring oil and plant matter that is likely to get a little toasty if left to its own devices. Plus, because of the longer preparation time, more of the healthy benefits of cannabis are extracted, as well as its attributes.

Lo herself started Sous Weed as a passion project to document her cannabis creations, utilizing the sous vide method. Her interest first arose, however, from the need for pain management. Lo herniated a disc and it became a struggle to simply get out of bed in the morning. Her doctor prescribed pain medication, but Lo switched over to cannabis because it was easier on her system and helped her to get through the day in a much better and healthier way.

As the creative director of a sous vide startup, she thought she'd put their very own machines to the test with great success. A new method of extracting cannabinoids and other cannabis components was born - one that was discreet, effective, healthier and more potent. Lo contributed one of her delectable preparations to the recent Goldleaf Cooking Journal project: sous vide duck fat infusion, which can be used in a variety of more delicious sounding dishes.

Sous Vide Duck Fat Recipe by Monica Lo

The retained juices and flavors of foods and infusions make sous vide the premium way to prepare delicate and enchanting foods. Classically used in French cuisine, including in the preparation of the gold standard, foie gras, Lo, her startup, and the sous weed wave are on the cutting edge of cooking cannabis and have made quite the splash already.

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by Mary Schumacher 
Photos via SousWeed.com

Mary S.

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