Jeff The420Chef, CEO,Executive Chef,Inventor of Odorless Cannabis
JeffThe420Chef, author of The 420 Gourmet, The Elevated Art of Cannabis Cuisine (Harper Wave, 2016), has quickly risen to prominence in both the cannabis and culinary worlds. Jeff is the pioneer of "layered micro-dosing" and famous for inventing FreeLeaf™, odorless, tasteless, cannabis for stealth smoking and for creating "tasteless" edibles.
Jeff was recently named one of America’s top cannabis chefs by The San Francisco Chronicle and received one of two Canadian Cannabis Awards for Culinary Excellence. The Daily Beast has referred to him as “The Julia Child of Weed”. Jeff's mission is "to make cooking with cannabis simple and easy for everyone" and to that end, he recently launched The Cannabis Cooking Channel which can be seen in over 350 dispensaries as well on YouTube and CannabisCookingChannel.tv.
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[00:00:01] You're listening to thinking outside the bud where we speak with entrepreneurs investors thought leaders researchers advocates and policymakers who are finding new and exciting ways for cannabis to positively impact business society and culture. And now here is your host Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt
[00:00:31] Welcome everyone. This is Thinking Outside The Bud. And I'm here with Jeff The420Chef and I'll be completely transparent with my audience here. This is the second time we're reporting this. So we had a conversation weeks ago. Probably what they're doing an amazing amazing conversation. Fortunately the recording didn't happen quite the way I needed it to. So we're on a review but just welcome to the program.
[00:00:56] Thanks for having me back.
[00:00:58] Just give us a little bit about his background the culinary Tantalus. He's got a dozen books he's done some pregnancy's going to hear about all that. But we start with just kind of understanding the backstory. So how did you get into the culinary arts. How did you get into cannabis has come to fruition.
[00:01:15] It's it's crazy you know I believe in kismet and the universe actually brings you where you're supposed to be.
[00:01:20] I had been going through you know that midlife crisis part of your life you know like wondering what am I going to next with my life or what not.
[00:01:27] And a friend of my mother ended up and she she had cancer and he would reach out to me for my cooking and baking just because she like my make cakes and cookies and stuff and then when she was given a medical recommendation her cannabis to help alleviate the pain so he called and said you know she she can't smoke you know at that time vaping with me even an option.
[00:01:48] You know there is just nothing really out there to flower on or edible. Right. And the old fashioned type of edible satellites. I don't know what I can do. Maybe they can make some brownies you know and I started making brownies and cakes stuff like that. But there was always that underlying terrible taste I took away from my I was known for which was you know just like great cakes and cooking when I wasn't even a chef back then I was in fashion marketing.
[00:02:11] I was just thinking out loud.
[00:02:12] I just loved to do that you know. And I set out to figure out a way to stake out the candidates flavor from the edibles that still keep the potency in there which nobody had ever done for. Especially coming from flowers it's very difficult. So you know it took me about 18 months to figure it out but I actually figured out how to take out the taste for the cannabis taste from the candidate. So when I make my poilus and butter the Canoy and abiders and I use to cook and bake with that the food tasted great and didn't taste like you know Graffy or Cabezas candidates like we're all use just because it's good for those people that are out of touch with the dating process or the kind of the culinary aspect of us.
[00:02:56] I actually go about going from a real town of lamplit product to be like What are the steps from Acambis point of view you have to go right to.
[00:03:05] You have to do is you have to think you have to take the tri combs that are on top of the plant which is basically Crystle. Everyone you know these are those Christoulas crystal to somehow come off the plant and get into your cooking ingredients like a butter on a boil. All right. Want to put in your pacing would be nice. And the issue with the cannabinoids is that the hydrophobic meaning that they'll stick to the plant at all cost.
[00:03:29] So until we figured out that you can actually remove the chirpin from the plant I'm trying to not Peterkin's remove the tripe comes from a plant in a fat fab where the trial comes a Cybil in a fat joe so brighter oil was a great solvent and you just put the plant matter into butter and oil to try and slop off over a period of time and then you have your infused canned butter canna oil.
[00:03:53] So your basic ingredients are going to be your butter and oil. Obviously those are base ingredients many things that we could to anything you can cook with butter and oil.
[00:04:01] You can now make a can of it. So you know we figured out that instead of you know taking your candidate into a crock pot like everybody did and putting your butter on oil in there and you know getting up all the schmutz that's in your in your in your cannabis was going into your butter and oil into your body. I figured out a way to clean off that shmucks beforehand. And we realized that that schmutz is really responsible for a lot of that tape.
[00:04:23] But like there would be a matter and various organic matter you have an awful you know chlorophyll for example chlorophyll has a very dirty.
[00:04:33] Does that plant taste and we take all that out before we infuse it into the butter oil business that you are holding your kitchen and figuring this out.
[00:04:42] I mean the original prescriptions was very great.
[00:04:45] Yes yes. This is me in my kitchen working every single day.
[00:04:50] Getting that. How many pounds. You can't quite figure out the recipe.
[00:04:56] Seriously I can't even I can't even tell you.
[00:04:59] But I would think if I was buying a quarter of an ounce a week to do this with them then I upgraded with felt like a half an hour. You can figure it out itself. You know it took a lot a lot of time and you know I was living in New York but I was flying back and forth to California because they couldn't do that legally. New York you know and California you know I can even really do it legally I can do it. You know after howitzer or you know somebody else in the South who had you know the old medical recommendation was even a all. And a lot of a lot of hard work a lot of travel expenses a lot of you know going back and forth and trying to figure this out but it all paid off and now I teach people how to remove all those contaminants are the majority of the contaminants from the candidates in their own home.
[00:05:41] They can do it themselves. And the face of butter and oil but they get a very light tasting butter or oil and it's a very simple cleaning process it takes a bit of time and a couple of days really get it done really well. But it works. And every single person is tried. I've never had anybody try and say that they hated it or that you know it was a much better buy after product that we started.
[00:06:03] So tell me because I know it's true. So tell me about the story how you can break into the market from a media point of view. There's a good challenge I think goes back to that. Yes.
[00:06:14] Well the challenge with take out the flavor and figure out those things you know those are two big things that you can do that then you know that you probably have some pretty valuable to you know to bring that people in. So I made a batch of cupcakes and I thought I ruined it because here's the meat and it's delicious cupcake and it didn't taste like cannabis at all. And all of a sudden three hours later I find myself in the aisle of CBS and I'm like why am I in this snack eyelets TV and how they can get here.
[00:06:40] I even realize that I was super superhigh you know and I got back to my place and I was like holy cow I called my friend Brian who is a very well connected in the entertainment and media fields. And I said you know I think I just threw it at I take up the taste him you know completely and the potency and it's like I don't fight for this right now. Call my friend Jetton Jones of the Daily Beast. You know maybe you can share with him and he'll do an article for you something. So I meet with just the next day we have brunch and I give my cupcake. And I said you know know mean you like the cupcake and he said I'll tell you what I want right. Article about it. They.
[00:07:12] And let you know in the article how they got isolated.
[00:07:17] So five days later the article came out and it was Meet the Julia Child that. And from that point on I started getting phone calls from you know very very well-known chefs and people I had seen on TV or heard about and all of a sudden they're calling me can you teach me how to do this ever. I'll show you how to do it. I won't charge you. But what I'd like an eternity to teach me something and I learned a lot I learned a lot and taught a lot of really top chefs. Now one of those chefs called me chef and I was like I'm at least chef. Now you are. You said you've invented a culinary process that no one's ever invented before that you can get the top chefs and your damn crate cook. I said great. Look at that 420 chef pretty much and from that point on I mean very shortly after that Newsweek did a four page story on me and Yili daily did a huge video. They got 3 1/2 million views and you know a lot of things just started to take off and that's why I say believe in Kismet because the universe brought me to this place. You know everything. I did the work that I had to do at the universe then took that and helped me and helped guide me along the path that I read that till I became get the point when to show some scripts that to me that once you put that into print form what was the goal of the when you cover the book was a stay at that article came out of it getting a push by all these publishing companies and no one to publish companies that long for how we got there.
[00:08:37] But HarperCollins found out about it and now you know and I said Here I have all these recipes plus we do at them and they're like we're going to do a cookbook with you. And I ended up writing this cookbook with over 100 cannabis infused recipes. But the magic of the cookbook The fact that number one in the book we teach you how to clean your candidate. That process I was telling you about how to do it properly.
[00:08:59] If you follow my my method for taking out you'll be able to do it properly you'll be able to know how many milligrams per serving and that's all written in the book each recipe will tell you if you use a strain that X percentage and you follow our guideline. This is what you look at from a potency per serving. So that's the big seller the cookbook and it's gorgeous I mean it's HarperCollins a shopper an award winning Tony Peacock who won the James Beard Award for her last cookbook her name actually lifted.
[00:09:27] And it's just you know I'm very proud of it. The book is super labor love. I work 20 hour a day for eight months. But with the cookbook doing really well Nathan on Amazon on our Web site. You know any place books are sold.
[00:09:40] And I think one of the top if not the top selling the book and it's I mean it's interesting is I think that whole time by overdosing is where it kind of opens up the possibilities that the alliance is you're not coming out of the traditional tribal culture where you know now let's just get as high as the canvas as we can and you're really looking for new ones. And so the facts are you're looking to address your needs if you're doing it for insomnia or you're doing that for your own or you know there is no treatments you're looking for advertising and all of that is about doing exactly what you're taking Hollybank skin implants let alone the last you know and by producing the body. And this is like a lot of what you got to do is give people more control over the dosage.
[00:10:23] Yeah and that the most they and the most important part you're right because dosing is the big issue. And I mean every single person out there they've had a brownie that say you know that I had one bite and it put me away.
[00:10:32] I mean like 500 milligram Brownie that's my normal you know. I want people to love my food right so I make great cookies great brownies and everything else right.
[00:10:40] So I'm going to make each of those one and a half milligrams or two milligrams. So you can have five cookies and dosed out at 10 milligrams of the really great very comfortable dose. You know you know that you that you are feeling it like you're not like couch locked and you don't want to call into a fetal position and you know they're walk out.
[00:10:58] So you're done.
[00:10:59] So you know it's at the low dosing is really important and you can also play with it. You know when you hotels food you can do a whole entire meal where each thing is one to have two mammoth and you get and that's how I became the you know that that catering chef to the celebrity is you know what I was doing Yuto meals that are low dose enough.
[00:11:17] But everyone's needs depending on how much you eat. Just like people kind of imitate the trilobites.
[00:11:23] Thanks so much. They appreciate that when you when you're looking played together.
[00:11:27] So you're actually looking at putting together an entire menu higher evening dinner menu where each element has some aspect of cannabis cannabis use infusion in it somewhere. So a really great appetizer to dessert.
[00:11:43] Yeah. You know everything is infused. But we also offer versions after that. So if you let a you bring a guest who doesn't want to partake then they can have the virgins which the same exact food tastes exactly the same and just let them pee right. And let's say that halfway through the night you start feeling because it takes about two hours to kick in. Right. Right. About halfway through the night you're feeling it and you don't want any more than you can stop. Yes. You know and you can feel still you would have a way of eating it just so you know being a cannabis chef is all about you know making sure you understand your guests and Sam what they're all about and make sure everyone has a great time and sometimes people just need to stop. Other times people think they need a lot more than they do and they really don't mind that.
[00:12:23] I've only had one experience like that when I had a guy come into the kitchen he's like dude you know press ahead beautiful girl on his arm and you can tell he's trying to show off. Now they do. He goes I'm a 300 milligram curl of a gang. You're going to have to like him much better than. Ten milligrams for me. I said that's what I said Amen every time I'm on the ground.
[00:12:41] Hey you got a couple of hours and we kept looking over it you know and he kept taking his girlfriend food you know and even Universalis it.
[00:12:49] Right. And all of a sudden we're not hours later he's missing.
[00:12:53] But this a mansion end up in the hills. And they're looking all over for him. They finally find him there and the guys man cave which is off limits to everybody. They said my Godina coming only allowed these two floors right ends up like sleeping on the couch. Mumbai's man Caverly kicked them out you know because he was just you know one of those guys that you had to you know show off and you end up getting shown out and in reverse.
[00:13:18] And that's exactly that opens up kind of a whole kind of aspects of the cultural side of the new kind of culture. And as you know it's not a simple culture. And I think that's how candidates are playing in lots of different and well this social and different lifestyles is really really interesting opportunity. And again it was his favorite recipe. What's one recipe that you love to cook.
[00:13:42] It really really depends on the time of year. Seriously like you know in the summertime everyone's asking for my dual color water Montefalco. Basically I take a yellow watermelon and a white water knowing I split it up and you have half yellow and half red in your bowl. Right. And then the yellow portion or the Red Force whichever we decide it's the infused party you know.
[00:14:02] How are we to make of a you know that the only that. Yeah that's it that's really popular made the tying continue to be the number one app for progress out there. But we are doing some really great things and sliders now and we're doing you know he's an infusion. I mean just had a lot of really you know are Asian fusion stuff. So our we have over 500 recipes there for me to pick up music.
[00:14:24] I know my Mathurin are one of my favorites personally because I love Micron you know and you know so we can refuse anything really as long as you know it uses oil or butter it or now tinctures and we do a vegetable classroom tincture and you know we're in drinks now with that and we're working like Sandis and a bunch of other stuff as well.
[00:14:42] So the stress that you in the kitchens Absolutely.
[00:14:46] Many hours a week or days a week or if you were to ask me a few weeks ago I probably say about six to eight.
[00:14:52] But I'm we're actually pivoting with our company so I'm still doing the cooking but I have other people that are helping with cooking now while we are actually going into the manufacture the manufacturing design and planning process that actually makes complete picture candidates we need to do if it's contaminated take it completely clean it and then create the odorless cannabis that when you smoke it there's no odor.
[00:15:17] So we're working on developing the machines the equipment to sell to manufacturers and prices manufacturers and processors who want to get out there and put a more discreet product onto the marketplace so if you're living for example in New York or anywhere on the east coast for sure because if people really want to be discreet you can be hanging out you know at the park smoking freely. The good we call it freely afraid of the smoking of freely enjoying what looks like a really nice you know what I would consider after the gorilla but it looks what the gorilla does look like a joint. Yeah definitely. We're seeing me just hanging out sitting there smoking and no one will know you know. So we're in the process now developing Whittman that's going on to allow manufacturers to do that too.
[00:15:59] My time is now being spent on developing that and going to the industrial equipment as well as the home equipment part of that is why people will be able to do this and all of them as well in the next year and a half or so.
[00:16:10] And I know you're kind of in the middle of all that.
[00:16:12] You didn't talk about it back down again this year ago.
[00:16:20] Would you have thought that you'd be sitting here today talking about manufacturing processes and equipment licensing methods of extracting chemicals from plant products. Do you think it's out touch that.
[00:16:33] Yeah I definitely would not. Three years ago I would've been like yeah pop Canada Schaffen and I made damning. They need me talking to the shack you know San Francisco Chronicle the Canadian cannabis award.
[00:16:43] If I did that like last year and I was just like OK I'm going to be the chef and then all of a sudden people started finding out about the process and the byproduct of otoliths candidates with my patent pending process and all of a sudden all the attention started shifting into that area. Could other people that I cook for I mean you know I share things with them and I would bring my otoliths joins the name. It's like we're heavily involved in it and that's how we're ending up raising the money to make it happen.
[00:17:08] So you know I'm sure it's been quite a journey. What has been some of the sort of better news or things that you appreciated that you did right and maybe even some things you didn't do so right.
[00:17:20] You know in terms of the process you're learning having gone through kind of that's that whole journey. You know some kind of amateur comes to be really a leader in the cannabis processing industry.
[00:17:34] Ok. You know the best thing I've done with it just be very passive about what I do and be transparent with everybody and introduce them to prayer asked to share their ideas or what not and then we have just stay with them and they die with them and at the end of it you have to take a risk you know and if you come up with something that's really exciting.
[00:17:50] Do you everything to protect it like that. You know my froths are patent pending you know but then get out there and if you get out there and you showcase it and you meet people and you show the product and you share the product and you sample what you're doing and you're just a good person. Now I think you get to get a lot of a lot of attention and you feel an attraction. You know my dinner party you know I mean there was that thing I never thought I'd be cooking for celebrities are you kidding me. That's what I mean. I can't imagine myself getting five years ago in my apartment you know in New York City like I can the chef what's coming up.
[00:18:21] But it all started happening around that time and you know I think it did get out there and you just do what you did best. You know put your head down and love what you do and then just share it. There is nothing wrong with sharing. You should be able to you know.
[00:18:33] Yeah. And I think it's a big part of the culture at this point it's this industry is that people are still pretty open and they want to connect. They want to network. They want to learn from each other. There's so much support and there's so much more opportunity that it's still it's still very open.
[00:18:47] And you also have to surround yourself with really good people. There's a lot of people in the industry that are not good people. No I don't read them out. No one can do your due diligence. I think the most important thing for me was getting people every time some would say hey can you do this or can I do this. You always check them out because you don't know who you're dealing with on the fly people out there you got to be careful of that.
[00:19:07] So just do your vetting and due diligence to stay true to what you know what your mission is and everything is going to be guided along the path.
[00:19:15] So in terms of how you kind of stayed abreast of all the changes you the dead image of the markets what has been good sources for you either in terms of information in terms of meeting people is where you don't need to get your information.
[00:19:27] Phillips Oh so I am signed up to every things that are out there from entrepreneur to MJB You know until like MJ time.
[00:19:36] You know I'm very well connected the industry you know I'm always talking to people are always going to have an important trade shows as huge trade shows and NCAA MJ because I mean it's a huge trade show just like a fashion trade show. Being the fashion industry. I'm shocked. I mean I was there when these trade shows had 50 vendors. Now they have 500 but you know so I mean those are really great sources of information but also keep your ear to the ground and people will tell you things that are happening that you're going to find out about a month from now in the press. Know they the ear to the ground in and you see what's happening and you know you have good people around you. And yeah just That's right and all information from. Yeah it's always changing the law.
[00:20:14] You got to make sure they say what have you seen recently or what do you think that's coming down the pike and coming down the pike in terms of the market the structure or you know what's going on in the various states international and what are you. Keeping your tabs on and see as the big big opportunities for people is OK.
[00:20:33] I mean you know I'm in California and you know we just had a huge say.
[00:20:37] I know how to describe what's going on right now with your life for its short turned our business upside down because your life is with the day when all of this century had to have fully compliant products in their dispensary. And if it wasn't they had to destroy it to get rid of it. It was having big sales. Are you walking into this century today and they only have about 25 percent of the product they had. We know that they're trying to get it back. So that's a big challenge for us here. I feel that you know I'm watching Canada very closely. You know they're legal. They're legalizing October 15th nationwide which is pretty awesome of what they can do with that.
[00:21:09] I truly believe in my heart of hearts that cannabis will be Dief scheduled and legalized in the U.S. by 2020 and I'll tell you why I say that. I think that Donald Trump won to leave some sort of a legacy. And right before the election when when times are tough and he needs the votes I think if he legalizes candidate there are a lot of people fortunately or unfortunately that are one issue voters are single issue voters.
[00:21:37] And if he legalize the candidate I think that he'll actually change his fortunes on that site.
[00:21:41] I don't think any out about it.
[00:21:44] You know if you went down yesterday with the good that he did legalizing and schedule the schedule cannabis would be it.
[00:21:51] Well you heard it here folks. This is this is where the first day. Yeah exactly.
[00:21:57] Excellent. So Jeff are just about the time here if you will to find out more about you about your book about the work you're doing about feelies. What's the best way to learn more to contact you. Up to the northeast.
[00:22:09] Yes. The best thing is if you want to see what I do. Just go to my Instagram account. 420 Schaff. I'm doing really great pace and really fun stuff on there. You know and will pass the post a lot of pictures of the Apple would do it again. But also some really cool dishes. Get the 420 chef dot at my Web site. You can get the cookbook on my website or go to Amazon called the 424 mailing Twitter.
[00:22:29] I mean we're out there in social media and everywhere we can be now and feel free that you know you can get me through ejecta for 27 dot com. Write me a letter and I'll answer everything I can. Direct messages that letter that might take a day or two.
[00:22:40] But I try to get to everybody. Some of the links are the shooters. Jeff this is great I'm looking forward to hearing all the details once this thing goes public. You know what's really interesting here is exactly this woman thing is that we candidate is cooking channel about a month ago.
[00:22:58] That's right.
[00:22:59] Let's say you check out the candidates Cooking Channel TV or dot com also on YouTube. So did I get 12 episodes up already or 11 episodes up already.
[00:23:07] Demi errored out as well. You're a busy man. Busy busy. No secrets today. So you like use every minute of it.
[00:23:16] Oh that was just a pleasure. Keep in touch and we'll do another episode at the next stage here. I'm sure you'll be doing readings in the coming months. Thanks again appreciate it.
[00:23:25] Thank you. Thanks for having. Take care.
[00:23:28] You've been listening to Thinking Outside the Bud with Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt to find a full list of podcast episodes. Download the tools and worksheets and access other great content. Visit the Web site at thinkingoutsidethebud.com. And don't forget to sign up for the free newsletter at thinkingoutsidethebud.com/newsletter.