I never met Resident Chef Mike Delao of TV’s Cannabis Planet but I consider myself a fairly decent judge of character. Years of being left alone in a car in the middle of the Bronx for hours on end during my prepubescent years, I acquired the skills necessary to dissect a person purely by their physical qualities. Over the past 4 years of viewing Chef Mike on LA’S KJLA 57 he always came across as a jocular fellow permanently bearing a content smile that suggests a soul doing exactly what he was created for. This exuded blissful aura made Chef an obvious target for one of my long emails detailing my virtual anonymity within the cannabis scene along with my strong desire to enter said scene by conducting interviews with those active in the movement. Was I really expecting a reply? Perhaps. I was pretty blown away however by an invitation to a taping of his cooking segments. Pretty blown away morphed into unrelenting above board hospitality when I arrived.
I rang the door bell. Introductions, Exchanges of friendly expressions, handshakes, smiles, hash pipe. I barely made it through the living room and into the kitchen before I was greeted with a pipe packed with chunks of hash. I tried to refuse, I’m not always the most secure soul surrounded by strangers while indulging in the altering of consciousness. Nobody needs to see me start hacking up undigested remnants of past childhood dares while interrupting every take as I do my best to aim my expelled saliva so that it doesn’t land faultlessly within someone‘s eyebrow, just light enough not to be noticed by the victim but heavy enough to slowly drip onto a cheek. All this while I cling to life by relying on my inhaler to open up my lungs. This is usually about where my glasses fall off and as I bend to get them I take out grandma‘s walker. Of course she lands on her surgically repaired hip. Ah, but who was I kidding, thoughts of free THC soon replaced paranoia. Four hits. “Keep hitting that, I’ll refill it when it’s done.” Heh? Who said that, Chef is was over there. Turn head to the right. Whoa who’s this dude? I don’t know but I like him. He filled the hash pipe. Wave high, say thank you but I’m good for now. No need to tempt self fulfilling prophecy.
Finally, now that all pleasantries and tokes had been exchanged it was time to observe and talk. Chef chopped and blended as he described his Medicated Living Raw Sushi Roll ( a blended mix of sesame seeds and other goodies into a pâté accompanied by vegetables all rolled into a sushi roll) and the many reasons he started to combine his love of food and grass. There was his mom, a diabetic who couldn’t enjoy any of the medicated edibles sold in collectives because of the high sugar content, his grandmother who suffered from kidney failure, along with an ex girlfriend who had major physical problems and became addicted to pills. Later as he became a public figure the strong desire to be a role model for the cannabis community emerged.
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