How to Become a Cannabis Chef

Do you want to be a cannabis chef? If so, you’re in luck — now that medical and recreational cannabis acceptance is more widespread than it once was, there’s a growing demand for chefs who can create delicious, innovative dishes that feature it as an ingredient. Cooking with cannabis is a worthwhile venture for many reasons, but it requires some education, experience and a creative drive to serve the community. 

Cannabis Cooking 

It might not be the loftiest goal, but there are still a bunch of steps to think about when you decide to become a cannabis chef. Cooking with cannabis requires knowledge from two separate areas:

  • the culinary side, where you’ll need either a degree or sufficient experience working in a kitchen, food safety knowledge, a food handler’s card and an understanding of how to experiment with recipes.
  • the cannabis side, which requires knowledge of your state’s cannabis laws and an understanding of cannabis terpenes and strain profiles, as well as knowledge how to properly infuse or dose cannabis into food and the stark difference between the two.

It can also be helpful to have some background knowledge of biology, chemistry or general science concepts, as well as a network of culinary and cannabis professionals. And of course, you’ve gotta be creative and willing to experiment!

Cannabis Chef Certification 

Since the world of culinary cannabis is still largely in its infancy, the fields of study for someone interested in cannabis chef certification can vary. Generally, you’d want to start with culinary credentials like graduating from a nationally recognized culinary school. In addition to a degree, or in some cases, instead of one, you need hands-on kitchen experience if you want to start cooking with cannabis professionally. Get your hands dirty, understand how a restaurant operates and learn basic sanitation and food safety practices. 

Likewise, some schools and programs offer a specialized certificate in culinary cannabis and edibles, obtained after passing a 90-minute exam that covers plant anatomy, storing and cooking cannabis, concentrates and extracts, the endocannabinoid system, terpenes, math, potency and safety. These are all critical topics for anyone cooking with cannabis to master. To be eligible for this program, you must have already completed either a ServSafe certification or eight hours in food safety and sanitation. Along with a formal cannabis chef certification, you also need to be at least 21 years old and practicing in a state where cannabis is legal for medical and/or recreational use. 

There are a few other different degrees and certifications that will aid in your journey to becoming a cannabis chef. The Certified Cannabis Edibles Professional exam is offered to help applicants establish themselves as proficient cannabis handlers. Through tools like proper education and credentials to safely explore cannabis cooking, today’s aspiring cannabis chefs can be part of the evolving culinary cannabis culture.  

Cannabis Cooking Prospects 

Now that you understand the steps involved in getting your cannabis cooking career started, let’s take a look at the potential jobs available in this field. Traditionally, a new chef would start working entry-level or part-time in a restaurant and work their way up the ranks over time. Consider starting as an apprentice, kitchen assistant or technician at an edibles company or restaurant that’s already serving infused cannabis dishes. In this setting, you’d learn the ropes through exposure to protocol, specific recipes and dosing measurements, ingredient prep, sanitization and safety processes and working in fast-paced environments. 

If going straight into a kitchen isn’t for you, look into larger, established edible corporations where you could assist with mass-creating the infusions, kitchen management and overseeing creative experimentation with new recipes before they hit the market.

Other avenues for your culinary cannabis experience include cooking for yourself and loved ones at home and creating online content through blogging or social media. With experience and credentials in cooking with cannabis, the sky’s the limit. Maybe you can author your own cannabis cookbook or become a private chef! Private chefs do all kinds of cool things, like working for individuals or families, preparing meals in their own homes or commercial kitchens, and catering fun cannabis cooking events. 

Cooking with Cannabis 

While the road ahead might feel like an uphill battle, rest assured that the possibilities are truly endless for an aspiring cannabis chef. Combining cannabis with cooking is natural, creative and only going to become more popular in the future as legalization happens in more states. 

We hope you learned some valuable info about how to become a cannabis chef and that you’ll invite us to dinner once you’ve perfected your recipes for cooking with cannabis!