The ‘Milkshake’ singer also talked to us about her new Netflix show, Cooked with Cannabis
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If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that Kelis loves food. The “Milkshake” singer has written a cookbook, trained as a saucier at Le Cordon Bleu, launched a pop-up restaurant in London, and owns a farm where she grows her own vegetables. In her new Netflix show Cooked with Cannabis, each episode sees three weed chefs compete for a $10,000 prize as they cook three course meals for an ever-changing group of guests, including Ru Paul’s Drag Race’s Alaska, rapper Too $hort, and EL-P from Run the Jewels. Think of it like Masterchef or Hell’s Kitchen, only the judges are stoned and guessing by the thick blanket of smoke in the air, so are the contestants.
We’ve asked Kelis to share one of her favourite meals to cook in lockdown: turmeric tea-steeped arepas with diced tuna, charred pineapple, and aji sauce. You can watch the video above. Below, we speak to the musician about how she’s been spending quarantine, cooking with cannabis, and her highlights from the Netflix show.
How have you been spending your time in quarantine? Have you been experimenting in the
Kelis: Reading, watching a lot of Netflix like most people. I just wrapped up my Kaleidoscope Anniversary tour which got cut short due to the pandemic, unfortunately; but the extra time has allowed me to focus on getting my new farm up and running, I had just moved in at the end of last year. Ever since lockdown started, I actually started baking bread out of the necessity because the grocery store was out. I’ve made a few loaves and they’ve all turned out really good. I highly recommend everyone try it, it’s not as hard as most people think it is.
Tell us about the recipe in the video and what you love about it.
Kelis: I love the colour, the colour of the tuna, the charred pineapple – it all looks so good and goes so well together. I love arepas as they can be used in so many different ways and they are pretty easy to cook with and really anyone can use them. Plus, when you top off with some aji sauce, which is also really easy to make it, it’s just a great dish.
What tips/advice would you offer for cooking with cannabis?
Kelis: Pick a strain of the flower to make sure it complements the dish. You really need to know what you’re doing so you balance the THC and CBD. You need an understanding of the process to heat the cannabis flower which activates the THC to give the cannabis its effects.
What are the best dishes to start out cooking cannabis with?
Kelis: I think sauces are a great way to integrate cannabis into your dishes. On the show, we had a really good peri peri sauce. I’ve also had some great olive oils and even butter – butter is great too.
What’s your favourite strain to cook with?
Kelis: For the record, I’m not a cannabis chef, but I have cooked with cannabis. I would say that there was a great strain called “dream queen” that a chef used on the show. It has a hint of tropical flavour that went really well with a ceviche dish we had.
What are some of the standout dishes on the TV show?
Kelis: There was an amazing halibut ceviche on the first episode, an incredible lamb dish, and I’m a big lamb lover, so that was nice. A chef that did some amazing vegan dishes on the futurist foods episodes. Everything was so delicious, all the chefs were incredibly talented.
What is your go-to comfort food?
Kelis: So much if it really depends on my mood. I’m really a mood person, so it depends on my mood. With that being said, probably anything with carbs is def comforting.
How has food/the food of your upbringing in New York shaped your life?
Kelis: Oh so much, my first cookbook My Life on A Plated is inspired a lot by my upbringing in NYC which is such a melting pot of different cultures and food, which I love. The jerk sauce from my sauce line Bounty and Full was created because I couldn’t find any good Jamaican food in Los Angeles, like we have in NYC, so I started to make my own which then actually inspired the name of “Jerk Ribs”, which is a single on my FOOD album, and then of course became one of my sauces, which I now sell.
How does your life as a musician compare to life as a chef?
Kelis: I think it’s similar in a lot of ways and different as well. Like in music, I create from an inspired place, so that informs the music and the food, but as a chef you have to think a lot more about the food you’re making and the people you’re making it for. Music you can make entirely for yourself and it doesn’t always matter. Whereas with food, you are most often cooking for someone else so you have to think about that.
Do you have any ideas for a cannabis-infused milkshake?
Kelis: No, not at the moment, but that may not be a bad idea for a challenge on season two!