by Dan Ketchum
Before we get into how to up your munchies game, let’s talk about terpenes. These organic compounds are what lend plants — including cannabis — their own unique aroma profiles and influence how your taste buds take in that plant’s distinct flavors. For the many wildly different strains of weed available today, the variety of terpene makeup across the spectrum makes for scent and tasting notes that can range from pine to lemon to cinnamon and beyond. Paying attention to the blend of terpenes and the unique flavor profile of your favorite strain is the best place to start when it comes to elevating munchies to more gourmet heights.
Nobody’s judging you for that bag of flamin’ hot tortilla chips, but the best munchies are ones that have a little bit more going on. Here’s five of our favorites.
1. Chile Mango
If you’ve spent time in California — especially in Los Angeles — or Mexico, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with the revitalizing, tangy freshness of mango con chile y limon (especially when it’s fresh off the fruit vendor’s cart on a summer day). Not only does chile mango (or even just plain mango) make a sweetly satisfying twosome with tropical and floral marijuana strains, the mycene terpenes in this refreshing fruit bind with your body’s THC receptors, making for a longer, steadier, brighter high.
2. Sorbet and Sherbet
In Denver, Mile High City chef Jason Somers likes to pair lemon sorbet with bright, citrusy weed strains. The hot and cold sensation of a vape pen and a cool treat like fruity sorbet or sherbet makes for an exhilarating contrast, while the cotton-candy vibes of this lighter ice cream alternative really complement uplifting hybrid and sativa strains, like our Over the Rainbow pen. The tropical flavors of Electric Lemonade match the taste as well as they match the high — it’s like pairing euphoria with more euphoria.
Credit for popularizing this inspired pairing goes to Amsterdam Falafelshop in D.C., where the curated menu expertly partners falafel toppings with specific strains. The rich, savory earthiness of the falafel gives your munchie a hearty base while toppings like hummus, baba ganoush, pickled turnips, fried onions or tahini perk things up a bit (and satisfy the inner munch monster’s cravings). When pairing with cannabis, seek sensory profiles such as the spicy earth and sandalwood that you’ll find in Herijuana strains.
Avocado isn’t just a trendy emoji or the reason why millennials can’t afford houses, it’s a creamy slice of nutrient-dense heaven rich in healthy fat, potassium, vitamin K and much more. The contrast of the ‘cado’s coolness and extremely subtle sweet notes with its underlying earthiness is what makes it such a fulfilling and versatile snack. The berry and floral taste profile of Mistifi’s Indica Houdini pen play off those notes while the earthiness of its Max OG strain rounds off the avocado’s own grassy tones.
5. Salads (Seriously)
Speaking of grassy profiles, a salad that goes beyond iceberg and carrots makes for a snack that’ll get you feeling perked up and proud rather than carbed down and guilty. Shake up a cup starting with the base of your choice — kale, arugula, slaw or spinach, for example — for a bright but earthy foundation, then enliven it with beets, dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, pistachios or your favorite zesty toppings to level up from side salad to legit munchie. The trick to pairing with salads is to enhance those piney, lemony notes — the harmonious high and woody juniper flavors of Phantom will do just that.
Dan Ketchum is an LA-based freelance lifestyle, fashion and food writer with a decade of experience. A former mixologist, he’s been fortunate enough to collaborate and publish with companies such as FOCL, Vitagenne, Reign Together, Out East Rose, SFGate, The Seattle Times and more
The National Cannabis Industry Association – Member Blog: The Differences Between Strain Specific Terpenes
National Cannabis Industry Association – Terpene Enhanced Flavors and E-Juice Flavoring
Healthline – 12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado
Thrillist – Foods That Are Proven to Enhance Your High
CNN Business – Hey, Stoners! Boost Your High with…Falafel?