It's not every day you step outside of your AirBnB to smoke a joint and find yourself sharing it with the host of Netflix's best attempt at a cannabis show thus far. But on one cloudy day down in Portland, Oregon, that's exactly what happened between me and Leather Storrs.
Leather Storrs (alongside Kelis) is the co-host of Netflix's Cooked with Cannabis, a 6-episode cannabis competition show where three culinary cannabis chefs cook up cannabis-infused meals that are judged by panels of celebrity guests for a chance to win a $10,000 prize.
Though show hosting is where you may be most familiar with Leather, his true profession is a chef. He is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in New York, and co-founder/former owner of Portland's Noble Rot restaurant. His training is classic, centered mostly around French cuisine.
“I've done a lot of things, but most of them are around cooking. Lately, it's a lot about cannabis. For me, that's the place where all of the things that tickle me are present. I think I am a wiser, and curious person who is on the path to exploring cannabis in the way it relates to all of our experiences,” Storrs told me during a recent Zoom conversation about life, weed, and a few things in between.
He also said he's been cooking with cannabis for almost 10 years at this point. His passion for food, the plant, and introducing people to both, led him to being a recurring guest on VICE's Bong Appétit. Of the experience, Storrs shared, “First I was on [Bong Appétit] when it was a travel show, then when it was a contest show. Wiz Khalifa was the guest that time. I've never been higher in my life. Finally I'm like, 'Wiz, two things: stop rolling those joints, and put a shirt on.' He didn't do either.”
Being so great on camera during Bong Appétit, combined with his knowledge of cannabis as a true cooking ingredient, brought about the opportunity to do Cooked with Cannabis. “I went down [to Los Angeles] and met Kelis. If she didn't like me, I wasn't going to do it; but we got along very well. She's a remarkable person, and we had a wonderful working relationship.”
Unfortunately, Cooked with Cannabis was not renewed for a second season, but Leather is hoping for a second shot at a culinary cannabis show now that he's learned how to do one effectively.
These days, Leather is still active in the cannabis community. He is working on producing a line of solventless gummies, in addition to working on a cookback about, of course, cooking infused cannabis dishes. “I don't know about you, but my butane days are behind me. I don't want to eat it, and I feel like a lot of these solvent-based distillates that people put into gummies are just gross. So I'm working on an all-fruit gummy. I'm doing a vegan option with agar, and just a regular gelatin one.”
On writing a cookbook, he told me, “I like words, I like weed, and I like food. I think I have something to say, because for chrissakes, who needs another Pacific Northwest white guy with a beard cookbook? Hopefully this is going to be thoughtful and different enough to interest people.”
Leather Storrs' favorite weed
Leather's love of cannabis, and the integrity he puts behind edibles, is one of the main reasons we had to talk about his favorite cannabis products too. When asked about the personal benefits of cannabis, Storrs said, “Like a lot of cooks, I'm pretty scattered. The metaphor that I always use is that there are these strings that are all wiggling together that represent the things I'm thinking about, ideas, and anxiety. For me, it's a slowing down of all the strings, and straightening them out. There's a comfort and decompression that I get.”
Here are four weed products that cannabis chef and Cooked with Cannabis host Leather Storrs can't live without.
Leather is primarily an edibles guy. He prefers his own homemade ones to anything on dispensary shelves.
“I would say that my vehicles for THC are edibles that I make. I usually have a pen with me, because that's tidy. And then flower at night. Dabbing and some of those things are a little creepy to me.”
Cherry Pie strain
Though not necessarily a product he can't live without, Cherry Pie is one the cannabis strains that has had a profound effect on him. It showed him that THC is not everything, and there are specific strains out here that can deliver the exact experience you want.
“My eureka experience was with the strain Cherry Pie, which is between like 14 and 17% THC. For whatever reason, that shit just fit me like a glove.”
“For cooking, I really like Cinex. I think that's a really clean, pretty simple terpene profile. I feel like its translation is one of the most strain-specific that I can get in extraction. I feel like I get from Cinex compounds, whether it be alcohol or fat, that kind of bright, cheery, not-too-high quality.”
His own recipes and Jerry Plumb's knowledge
The only true cannabis brand that has Leather Storrs' loyalty is himself. For the most part, he just eats his own edibles and uses his own tinctures. “I really like doing this, and I'm also cheap, so it's not like I'm out there trying other things,” he said.
When asked if he has specific brands or products that he favors, Storrs replied, “I'm not sure that I have any crazy brand loyalty. There are a few pens that I think are doing neat stuff. What I can't live without is the mad scientist Jeremy Plumb. I had been encouraged to look further and further because of him, and he's been big from the beginning. I've worked with [Chalice Farms]. I like their outfit and approach very much.”
Featured photo courtesy of Leather Storrs. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps.