Cooking with cannabis, making your own edibles, or concocting your own medicated products has got to be one of the most rewarding hobbies.
This well-kept secret is out, and more people than ever are discovering the joys and nuances of bringing cannabis into the culinary space.
Bluntness Kitchen is quickly becoming the go-to online community and resource for people who are curious, want to share their cannabis culinary passion, or simply want to connect and learn directly from the top cannabis chefs in the U.S.
This profile series introduces said chefs to you one by one, and in today’s entry we highlight the work of High Vibe Kitchen Collective owner Teresa Hansen: a seasoned chef with 12 years of professional experience to share with the cannabis community.
Bringing People Together with Food
Hailing from a small town in Southeast Arizona, Hansen was born into a food-centric family with a wide variety of experience in the culinary arts.
“My mother cooked many meals for our family of five, and I consider her to be a true OG when it comes to meal prepping – it’s definitely inspired my own business,” Hansen said.
“My grandfather was also a cook in the military, and he would always make his grandkids fresh donut holes and potato pancakes. He and my grandmother owned a restaurant together, where they served Midwestern traditional food inspired by their Wisconsin roots.”
Hansen’s mother worked at the family restaurant alongside her six sisters, catering to customers while their father played live music on his guitar for entertainment.
“It was this rich familial experience, and all of the stories and memories that came along with it really instilled in me how much food can bring people together. I pour this spirit into every dish I make to this day, and I will carry it with me through every culinary adventure I pursue,” Hansen said.
Favorite Cooking Traditions: “I loved baking as a kid, and we would have a solid 3-4 days of baking – and making pancakes – as a family around the holidays. My grandmother made Dutch baby pancakes with sauteed apples and sour cream, and my grandfather always made his specialty potato pancakes and donut holes. To this day, those flavors always remind me of Christmas with my family.”
These cherished family mementos encouraged Hansen to sign up for a nutrition program in her mid-twenties, which is where she first connected the dots between food, health, wellness, and cannabis.
“I was fortunate enough to have parents who were both open to cannabis use, so when I wanted to make my first infused dish – brownies – I turned to my mom for help,” Hansen said.
Favorite Cannabis Cooking Hacks: “Decarboxylate! A.k.a., activate your weed before cooking or infusing it into oils. This allows the cannabinoids to bind to fats and increases potency. However, not decarbing allows your cannabis to maintain the terpene and flavor profiles, so there truly is an occasion for both scenarios – which is pretty cool.”
Cannabis-infused brownies are easily the most common type of edible that people think of, and in Hansen’s experience, most people still associate edibles and “munchies” with sweets and sugars.
“Because of that, I’ve focused on refining my cannabis infusions with healthy and nutrient-dense meals. I’ve had to blaze my own trail in this regard. However, my mentor Chef Payton Curry really introduced me to the canna-culinary scene in Phoenix, which allowed me to create CBD edibles for athletes, and I’ve evolved that into High Vibe Kitchen Collective,” Hansen said.
The culinary company offers private dining experiences, catering, workshops, and other types of events centered on cooking with cannabis in a way that nourishes and heals, rather than simply masking the flavor of weed with mounds of sugar. Hansen aims for balance with each infused creation, offering a variety of healthy meals to clients for every occasion.
Chef Teresa’s Signature Go-To Dish: “Filet mignon with an infused herb chimichurri and pomegranate slaw. I love this because it’s Southwest inspired with a touch of Mediterranean. I like to complete it with a pureed potato or vegetable. It’s just a perfectly balanced meal, in my opinion.”
Hansen also puts a lot of thought into terpene balance, depending on what her clients or guests are looking for when they pursue her services.
She typically opts for limonene, caryophyllene, and pinene, and some of her favorite strains to cook with are Super Sour Diesel and the ever-classic Lemon Haze.
Biggest Learning Moment: “Knowing how to command a kitchen crew to carry out the vision of an event. It’s one thing to be able to govern yourself and know your own skill set, but it’s another thing entirely to have to coordinate with a staff, sous-chef, and event partners on large dinners.”
Hansen has definitely drawn from every learning moment in her career thus far, utilizing that experience to empower and propel her business forward. With Bluntness Kitchen, she hopes to connect with like-minded cannabis chefs and infusion enthusiasts to share, grow, network, and inspire one another to build a stronger community.
What’s Next for Chef Teresa: “We’re currently working on a cookbook and 4/20 dinner for 2023. I’m also open to destination dining, serving retreats, and offering other unique experiences as we continue to grow.”
To stay connected with Hansen, follow her on LinkedIn.
And for more cannabis cooking in your life...
Join Bluntness Kitchen today to connect with cannabis chefs from all backgrounds across the U.S., as well as other community members who share your passion and curiosity for infused cuisine.