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Local chef appears on Netflix’s new ‘Cooked With Cannabis’

Joseph Nelson (left) and Patrick Mulcahy cook up gourmet dinners infused with cannabis.
Joseph Nelson (left) and Patrick Mulcahy cook up gourmet dinners infused with cannabis.Tony Raymond

Netflix dropped its new show, “Cooked With Cannabis,” on April 20, also known as 420 Day or National Weed Day. The show, hosted by singer-songwriter and chef Kelis and chef Leather Storrs, is a cooking competition where contestants incorporate cannabis into their cuisine. The first season is six half-hour episodes, perfect for binge-watching.

Culinary shows that highlight marijuana are not a new — think “Bong Appetit” or “Cooking On High” — but this series seeks to elevate the quality of the food being prepared. Chefs come from across the country to compete, each with a unique background in the culinary and cannabis industries. From growers-turned-food scientists to stoners-turned-master chefs, they all have one thing in common: an affinity for showcasing marijuana as an ingredient in great food. After the chefs serve up their infused delicacies, Kelis, Storrs, and a panel of guest judges get to sample and critique their dishes.

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Boston-based cannabis chef Patrick Mulcahy appears in the fifth episode, called “High Holidays.” Mulcahy and the other competitors were instructed to cook a cannabis-infused three-course holiday meal. Mulcahy looked to his upbringing in Plymouth to create a traditional New England Thanksgiving menu, including a green bean casserole appetizer infused with two milligrams of psychoactive THC per serving, a main course of pan-roasted goose breast sporting 3½ milligrams of THC, and candied yam waffles for dessert with 1½ milligrams of THC coupled with 5 milligrams of mellowing CBD.

The judges and the hosts praised Mulcahy’s expertise in dosing cannabis and his unique takes on classic family favorites.

Mulcahy is half of the two-person team that is Mass Cannabis Chefs, a Boston-based event company. Working with his business partner and fellow chef Joseph Nelson, he cooks up monthly gourmet dinners infused with cannabis that locals can buy tickets to attend.

“The cannabis infusion is optional,” Mulcahy said. “We do a sliding dose, anywhere from a low dose to a high dose of THC or CBD. We really try to focus on meeting each individual person’s desires and dosages because edibles affect everyone differently.”

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Patrick Mulcahy prepares a meal infused with cannabis.
Patrick Mulcahy prepares a meal infused with cannabis.Tony Raymond

The Massachusetts native has been working in food for more than 15 years. He said he’s always used cannabis, so combining the two came naturally to him. Before recreational marijuana use was as widely accepted as it is now, he recalls whipping up creative takes on classic edibles for friends and for personal use. When the state legalized recreational use, Mulcahy and Nelson teamed up to pair cannabis infusion with fine dining. The two, who knew each other from working in the restaurant industry, made a name for themselves as cannabis chefs, and last spring, “Cooked With Cannabis” contacted Mulcahy about appearing on the show.

While filming the episode in Los Angeles last June, Mulcahy said he got to meet chefs from across the industry that shared his passion for cannabis. With renowned cooks promoting marijuana as an ingredient as opposed to a drug, the conversation around cannabis use starts to change. “I feel like for people who haven’t been willing to try it in the past, seeing something like this on a major platform might make them more apt to come have dinner with us, maybe, when this whole coronavirus is over,” Mulcahy said.

As more states make recreational use of marijuana legal, Mulcahy hopes the stigma that often follows the plant will decrease. By using cannabis as a well-thought-out ingredient in gourmet cooking, he hopes to expose audiences to new uses. “You can do a lot more with cannabis in food than just your average brownies,” Mulcahy said. “I hope people see it in a new light.”

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