Quarantine has been a great time to watch cooking shows. After all, cooking and binge-watching television are easily two of the best stay-at-home activities. Especially if you can pry yourself away from the latter to do the former ... before returning to the latter, food in hand.
The release of Netflix’s Cooked with Cannabis on April 20 got us interested in how everyone was integrating weed into the genre, so we watched a decent chunk of every cannabis-based cooking show we could find.
Here’s how they rank up for us:
Bong Appétit (Seasons 1-2)When it premiered in December 2016 on Viceland, Bong Appétit had an interesting concept. Basically, each episode would feature a chef who was notable for accomplishments outside the cannabis industry. The chef was teamed up with a handful of edible experts to prepare an elaborate, cannabis-infused, multi-course meal for a themed party where everyone gets high.
While it’s certainly not the most entertaining show on this list, it had something going for it that the others lack to a major extent. Each episode featured a chef learning how to cook with cannabis for the first time, which made it easy to learn along with them. And, the show isn’t a competition, so it didn’t have to cut away to different cooks. It could more or less just follow the cooking, somewhat methodically, until it was done. Anyone can bake with cannabutter, but it’s interesting to see new uses for these ingredients, such as using the cannabutter to baste beef cheeks.
In addition to Viceland, Bong Appétit can be found on Hulu.
Cooked with CannabisNetflix’s newest show on this list is also probably the most entertaining. In it, three chefs with prior edible-cooking experience compete to make three weed-infused courses for a panel of celebrity judges. When it comes to cannabis cuisine categories, competitive cooking shows make up the majority, but this show had several qualities that made it just a bit better than its competition.
For one, all three contestants cook every course — nobody gets voted out of the kitchen. As a result, you get to see everything they planned come to fruition ... in theory. (While most competitive cooking shows have a countdown where everyone is rushing to finish their food, we always assumed the tension was created through editing.
Not here — at least once, a contestant runs out of time before she can add the cannabis-infused sauce to her meal.) Anyway, we like the contestants a lot and, to be honest, it had the coolest looking kitchen set.
Bong Appétit: Cook Off (Season 3)In its most recent season, Bong Appétit pivoted into a competitive cooking show. It has slightly better guests than Cooked with Cannabis (Cheech and Chong and Wiz Kalifa, anyone?) and elements that ought to increase the tension of the competition, such as eliminating a competitor from the running before the final challenge.
But at the same time, it still felt too mellow — failing to distance itself enough from its laid-back first two seasons — to become a really engaging competition. Instead, it still seemed a bit obsessed with conveying the message that cannabis is a thing that you can cook with — but without showing you at all how to do it.
MunchiesFunny or Die’s cannabis cooking show, also found on Amazon Prime, flips its approach. Comedians get high, and then they try to cook something, such as funnel cakes. Humorous antics ensue.
Are you going to learn anything from it? No. Will it have you on the edge of your seat? No. But its funny, and it’s the shortest show on this list, which is nice if you’re looking for something to watch while you eat a single burrito.
Cooking on HighNetflix’s first competitive cannabis cooking show came out in 2016 and features two competitors going head-to-head in a single round to create a themed edible dish featuring a specific strain of marijuana. Clocking in at 15 minutes per episode, it could have had potential.
Unfortunately, it spends the vast majority of what little time it has focusing on the Z-list celebrity judges. The chefs might as well not even be there, and you’re barely going to get a look at the food or how they prepare it. Weed expert Ngaio Bealum shows up for a hot minute to try to tell you something interesting about pot, but he gets drowned out by the inanity.
Not in competitionWe heard the Amsterdam-based High Cuisine is an interesting show, but it airs on the Netherlands’ Videoland streaming service, and those Dutch fascists wouldn’t let us watch it outside of that country. So we didn’t. Similarly, PROHBTD Media supposedly has several cooking shows, including Pot Pie, but its YouTube channel disappeared and we couldn’t find the shows on their website (completely sober). So, we skipped ’em.