When Mindy Segal decided she wanted to cook with marijuana, the James Beard award-winning pastry chef knew she could do much better than the clichéd pot brownie.
Instead, she'll tap into her understanding of transforming sugar into tempting treats to launch a line of chocolate brittles, granola bites and eventually a hot chocolate—all laced with butter infused with cannabis oil. In the process, she'll become one of the first celebrity chefs to lend her name and brand to the budding edible marijuana industry.
Segal, who owns Mindy's Hot Chocolate restaurant in Chicago and authored the cookbook Cookie Love, is partnering with Cresco Labs with hopes of producing the sweets for distribution in Illinois in February. The company also hopes to distribute the products in other states where marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use.
Her goal with this new project, Segal said, is an extension of what she calls her core value as a chef: making people happy. “We're going to come up with recipes that are portioned and dosed properly,” Segal told the Associated Press. “So we're healing, and that's the whole idea, that we're healing, making people have appetites and not have pain.”
Segal wants the final product to have a “no-taste taste.” She calls working with marijuana a professional challenge.
“I'm trying to elevate the industry,” she said. “I'm applying what I know against what I don't know, and that's how I'm approaching this. And that's how I approach my work as a chef.”