Chef Enid Parham (aka Chef Sunflower) says it was a blessing and a curse when she was named Michigan Edibles’ best cannabis chef in 2021 for her analytical and meticulous approach to preparing delicious THC-infused meals.
“I became so popular it was harder for me to get a lot of gigs and public support because I was into cannabis,” she says. “I used to do a Eastern Market series on my blog like, ‘How to shop at Easern Market and take things home to use it with cannabis.’ When I approached Eastern Market with the idea they said they couldn’t support it because it was cannabis-based.” On the opposite end, Parham has been approached by cannabis corporations that have agendas she didn’t want to be a part of, like those lobbying to stop home-growers, also known as caregivers, in order to steer more medical marijuana patients into stores.
Parham has instead decided to take a step back and return to doing more incognito events, where she could more effectively curate the experience she wants her guests to have. Even though the perception of cannabis has changed dramatically over the last decade, there are still Detroiters who prefer to indulge discreetly.
“There are a lot of corporate people that want to party without their bosses or other people knowing that they’re at these events using cannabis,” she says. Parham’s practice is also not necessarily legal. “With me as a cannabis chef, they really haven’t gotten to us as far as laws are concerned,” she says. “They try and throw us under the category of ‘edibles,’ but edibles are sort of different than when people are sitting down eating.” Enter the LuckyPistil Pop Up Pizza party, sponsored by Parham and her business manager Biba Adams, a journalist (and Metro Times contributor). The event promises to be a lowkey yet informative and fun evening. “The people I’m having this pizza party with own a well known restaurant in Detroit,” she says. “We’re going to take their menu and we’re just going to enhance it with cannabis.”
The event will include a karaoke competition, games, and tutorials about infusing various recipes with cannabis. “I had to learn how to feed guests cannabis to where they didn’t have these bad experiences or where they weren't high for 2 to 3 days,” she says. “Dosing is one of the major factors. It's a math you have to be able to do where guests are able to enjoy a party and can enjoy it comfortably.”
Other issues that affect cooking with cannabis include mixing different strains, various levels of terpenes, different levels of THC, the quality of the cannabis, and the cooking temperature. Through years of research and practice Parham has learned it all, and is willing to share that knowledge.
“This underground series I’m doing is with some of my restaurant friends,” she says. “It’s just a pop-up, so we won't publish the name, but people will know they can come back underground to this series and have some fun and start having these conversations.”
The LuckyPistil Pop Up Pizza Party will be held from 6-10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12 at an undisclosed location. Email [email protected] for more info. Tickets start at $60 and are available at https://bit.ly/3nFjawl.