Rocky Mountain Food Report: Colorado Company Pairs Cannabis and Cuisine

Recently, Mason Jar Event Group hosted their winter cannabis pairing dinner at art gallery Boulder Creative Collective. Chef Jamey Fader, executive chef at Lola in Denver, cranked out courses while attendees enjoyed marijuana bud, concentrate and edible products from featured sponsors. Talking to the Report, Mason Jar made it clear the dinner’s are a unique opportunity to bring first-timers and aficionados together to appreciate cuisine and Colorado cannabis the way it is intended, in a group setting.

MJEG is in the business of taking all things cool in Colorado and creating events showcasing local cuisine, music, cocktails, and cannabis. Pulling their name from the now-hipster but formerly Southern symbol, Mason Jar says the glass container symbolizes fun times shared with friends and family. We spoke to company founder Kendal Norris, who for the last 18 months has been busy conceptualizing these high-end, communal pairing dinners.

“It’s really like a traditional wine pairing, but instead of wine we’re pairing some kind of cannabis,” says Norris. “We work with sponsors to find out what they want to feature, whether it be flower, concentrate or edibles and pair those with a course.”

The winter dinner consisted of seven courses, included pairings with four different products:

• A concentrate and flower (citrus sap) from The Clinic, a dispensary with four stores in Denver and one of the first marijuana centers in the United States to sell recreational cannabis.

• A concentrate cherry diesel from Olio, a company known as “a team of hash enthusiasts”. Olio was started by Wade Sanders, former co-founder of 710 Labs, High Times’ People’s Choice winner for “best hash” in 2014.  Olio is creating two types of wax and distillate with the goal of creating high THC percentages and a diverse library of flavor profiles.

• Blue Kudu’s Zen Cherry Almond Chocolate Bar, complete with little cheese graters to shave some chocolate spirals on top of the last course.

“The cannabis leads everything,” says Norris. “We get sponsors and products and then we pair a menu around that. It’s a creative process. We may focus on a farm that’s local, a spice, or a strain we’re loving at the moment, seasonality. We love discovering the products and their flavor profiles, fusing different dishes for the pairing.”

“We put together goodie bags and those were brought with them,” says Norris. “People follow along with the dinner and consume the products at their own pace.”

“I think it’s very attractive for cannabis companies to work with us because they don’t have a lot of opportunities to highlight their products,” says Norris. “We’re elevating the experience of using cannabis in a social setting. That’s the way it’s always been used and now we’re offering a way to sit and relax and enjoy these products in a very accessible way. Newbies are attracted to our events because they’re already comfortable going to dinner, going to an art gallery, and this provides a safe place for people to consume cannabis.”

Below is a complete listing of the winter menu to help you know what to expect at future events, courtesy of Mason Jar.

First Course: Royal Red Shrimp Ceviche paired with Olio’s Sleeping Monkey Live Resin Sugar and Sanitas Brewing Company’s Citrus Lager

Second Course: Spicy Pork Kimchito Empanadas paired with Olio’s Cherry Diesel Live Resin Sauce and Sanitas Brewing Company’s Citrus Lager

Third Course: Hamachi and Organic Salmon Tiradito with Chile, Roasted Macadamia Nuts, Extract Consultants’ Mango Terpene Extract (0% THC) Mango Mojo paired with The Clinic’s Panama Punch Era Pod and Ipsum Verdejo

Fourth Course: BBQ’d Eggplant Tostada with Ancho BBQ, Toasted Pumpkin Seed Pipian and Salsa Criolla paired with The Clinic’s Flower, Citrus Sap and Ipsum Verdejo

Fifth Course: Braised Oxtail with Creamy Corn Porridge and Orange-Poblano Marmalade paired with Neos Electronic Vaporization Pen featuring Blue Dream and Monte Oton Garnacha

Sixth Course: Lobster Tamalitos with Butter Poached Spiny Tail Lobster, Pico de Gallo and Salsa Suiza paired with Neos Electronic Vaporization Pen featuring Blue Dream and Monte Oton Garnacha

Seventh Course: Spiced Chocolate Cake with Hibiscus Jam paired with Blue Kudu’s 100mg Zen Garden Cherry Almond Dark Chocolate Bar and Steepfuze CBD Infused Coffee

The next dinner is coming that day in Denver at the Space Gallery. See here for more.

More photos available at the Report.

[Images: Courtesy Masjon Jar Event Group and Dog Daze Photo]