Inside DC’s First Pot Food Festival

By Allie Wilkinson, special to EdibleDC

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I have a confession. I haven’t thought about marijuana edibles in nearly a decade. But when I saw an announcement about Baked and Glazed, which billed itself as “the first pot food festival”, my curiosity was piqued. So on Sunday, May 15th I attended the event at culinary incubator Mess Hall in Northeast DC, along with 300 other people hoping to learn more about cooking with cannabis.


The festival was broken up into five ticketed time slots, each one featuring a trio of cooking classes—“How to Make Cannabutter” and “The Art of THC Tinctures”, both taught by Matthew Doherty, co-creator of East Coast Grow, a forthcoming fictional comedy series about DC’s marijuana industry, and a third class taught by one of five local chefs, whipping up dishes ranging from baked breakfast burritos to cannabis corn muffins. Things have come a long way since the college days of magic brownies from a box.

Deciding which of the five sessions to attend was a difficult choice. But after drooling over Mathew Ramsey’s aptly-named PornBurger site (and informing a friend that they were right, meat and cake can go together) my decision was made.


The first thing to catch my eye in the brightly lit space was the vibrant pop of green: two marijuana plants on the counter of the demo kitchen, which were also displayed on a large TV overhead. Behind the counter stood a man in a purple Grateful Dead t-shirt—Matthew Doherty.

After a brief apology for a delayed start—“this is a pot event, so being late is somewhat expected”—Doherty began his cannabutter demonstration. He says he prefers using a crockpot to the stovetop, since difficulties in regulating the stove’s temperature can result in “burning off the good stuff”. Using oregano as a substitute (District law makes it illegal for a person to possess more than 2 ounces of marijuana), Doherty did a quick run-through of the process, which he says is applicable for vegan butter substitutes as well.

Next up was Ramsey, who came in armed with a commercial stand mixer and a trio of meats, illustrating his method of creating his own burger blend, which he combines with cannalard. He uses a different approach to Doherty, creating his marijuana-infused fats sous vide—or as he calls it “sous weed”.

Doherty then came back to the stage, closing out the session with a lesson on how to make THC tinctures, which combine marijuana and grain alcohol, or as he likes to call it “the best of both worlds”. The marijuana, which is decarboxylated in the oven before soaking in alcohol for two days, can then be used for cocktails, frosting, or anything else that doesn’t use heat.

After the final demo, attendees were invited to peruse the marketplace, which sold everything from hemp tea to hydroponic setups, and enjoy outdoor beer garden as Ramsey whipped up some of his (weed-free) munchbox burgers alongside several food trucks.

Al Goldberg, the founder of Mess Hall, says they have been inundated with requests for a part two, which they are considering to support people’s progression in the cannabis culinary arts.

AllieWHeadShot Allie Wilkinson is a freelance writer living in Washington, DC. When she’s not nerding out over science, she enjoys relaxing with a glass of wine and testing out new recipes on her friends.