Sarah Best is a bubbly, 30-year-old marketing expert with a background in hospitality (she was on the opening team at Soho House Toronto). Last year, noting the growing interest in microdosing and edibles, she founded Dirt, a series of occasional “high-dining” cannabis-themed parties in private homes and open-minded restaurants. They proved so popular that she now hosts them monthly. In January, 35 people attended a vegan dinner in the private room of a trendy downtown restaurant—we’ve promised to conceal its identity—crowded around two long, communal tables decorated with tea roses and trailing greenery. The night had been organized to front-load a series of buzz-building THC-infused cocktails and apps, followed by mostly weed-free entrées. Sarah passed around complimentary vape pens (some attendees brought their own) loaded with either indica or sativa, to suit diners’ moods. An hour in, strangers were friends, and everyone was giggling and chatting about their latest Netflix binges. Then came the final course, a cookie with a generous dose of CBD. I couldn’t get home to bed soon enough.
Mint condition: The night’s first cocktail was an alcohol-free mojito made with kombucha, lime, raspberries, cucumber, muddled mint and simple syrup infused with 5 mg of THC. It balanced sweet and tart, with a hint of grassiness.
A starch is born: The chef baked fingerling potatoes from organic heritage grower Cookstown Greens in soil (a nod to the night’s organizer). Each spud was brushed with a mildly herbal olive oil infused with 2 mg of THC.
’Shroom service: The vegan variation on one-bite nigiri swapped slices of shiitake mushroom and black truffle for raw fish, plus a dab of wasabi.
Liquid courage: A shooter of miso broth and diced al dente celery was warming and umami-rich, providing the last kick of THC (2 mg per serving) before the entrées.
Spice world: The lentil pâté on a house-made rice cracker had a chili kick but no actual cannabis component.
Herb appeal: The night’s main courses consisted of a vegan interpretation of ceviche (shown above), with 2 mg of THC and slices of raw coconut replacing fish, plus cubes of Asian pear, coriander seedlings and a dressing of celery and apple juice; fluffy cauliflower-potato gnocchi and a butternut squash purée, plus plentiful slices of funky Perigord black truffles; and a sharing platter of wood fire–charred Savoy cabbage.
Tropic thunder: Dessert came in two stages: a cannabis-free vegan version of a carpaccio (shown above), combining sugar-poached pineapple chunks, goji berries, Chinese red beans, petals of agar-agar jelly and a quenelle of creamy pineapple sorbet; and a Chips Ahoy–style chocolate chip cookie, infused with 10 mg of CBD—a baked good to ensure you get fully baked.
The New Gold Rush
Part 1: Pot-Luck Dinner
The city is teeming with fancy, secret summer clubs serving THC-laced cuisine. We sent our restaurant critic to sample the goods
Part 2: The Pot Pilgrims
These five newcomers packed up their lives and moved to Toronto—all for the chance to work in weed
Part 3: Hot Boxes
Luxurious designer boutiques are the future of cannabis retail
Part 4: Professors of Pot
It’s a stoner’s dream come true: you can finally major in marijuana
Part 5: Plant Managers
The favourite strains of the horticulturally gifted growers at the city’s top cannabis companies
Part 6: Baked Goods
Wellness gurus are spiking their artisanal lotions and salves with a not-so-secret ingredient. We tested out some of the more intriguing products
Part 7: Buzz Food
Cannabis cooking classes—for those who want to cause and cure the munchies in one fell swoop
Part 8: High Rollers
We quizzed the city’s most powerful cannabis CEOs on their favourite strains, weed slang and what they eat when they get the munchies
Part 9: Joint Ventures
Five of Toronto’s hottest burgeoning canna-companies
Part 10: Who You Gonna Call?
The accountants, lawyers and ad agencies carving out a niche in the buzz biz