Laura Matsie is the bubbly personality behind High Class Eats, a website loaded with delicious recipes and helpful resources for cooking with cannabis.
Laura, a lawyer by day, currently calls San Francisco home. We chat with Laura about making way-too-potent brownies, “contributing to the downfall of society,” and showing the world that being a cannabis consumer and a successful, educated professional is not mutually exclusive.
Why did you start High Class Eats?
My partner Steve! We love cooking dinner together and consuming edibles together — it was only natural that we eventually started to bring the two together. When we started to create our first cannabis-infused foods, I realized how few resources were available to home cooks who wanted to try cooking with cannabis.
It was through extensive research and a lot of trial and error that I started getting it right. Cooking with cannabis is such a great, healthy way to consume. I wanted to make that knowledge accessible and available to everyone.
What has been the most challenging thing about incorporating cannabis into your recipes?
It was through the learning process that I discovered some of the more challenging aspects of cooking with cannabis. Specifically, there is no way to be truly certain of the potency of your homemade infused butters and oils without lab testing. This struggle inspired me to make High Class Olive Oil.
I wanted to create a wholesome, dose-able cooking oil to take the guesswork out of cannabis-infused cooking. Our oil only has two ingredients: certified organic extra virgin olive oil and clean California cannabis. The dose can be measured with standard kitchen measuring spoons.
It was also important to me that our oil contains a natural range of cannabinoids. We have a 5:1 ratio of THC:CBD, so our users can experience the benefits of consuming both cannabinoids together.
Any misconceptions about cooking with cannabis?
I think one of the biggest misconception about cooking with cannabis is that it’s too difficult or complicated. With the right knowledge and my High Class Olive Oil, anyone can easily and safely create their own healthy homemade edibles!
Were there any “uh oh” moments when you first started out?
One of my first attempts at cannabis-infused cooking was a tray of classic brownies. My partner Steve and I both had one small brownie a couple hours before heading to a music festival. The brownies were way too potent, and we ended up missing the whole thing!
Addressing this issue was one of my biggest inspirations for creating our High Class Olive Oil. I want to empower adults to feel confident incorporating cannabis into their own foods in a healthy and natural way.
What are your favorite recipes of all time — with cannabis or without cannabis?
My favorites are always changing, but right now I love this Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Lavender Glaze (recipe below) and this Cioppino! All of my recipes are “infusion optional,” meaning they are delicious with or without cannabis.
Where did you grow up? Do your parents or friends from back home have any thoughts about your site High Class Eats?
Any time you put something out there as publicly as I have with High Class Eats, you get a lot of comment. I lived my whole life in the Midwest until I moved to San Francisco. My parents still live in the suburb where I grew up, and I still have friends in Chicago.
Growing up in the Midwest cannabis use was certainly stigmatized. I’ve had some Midwestern family members tell me they believe I am “contributing to the downfall of society,” but I don’t take these opinions too personally.
As people become more educated about cannabis, those negative opinions become less prevalent every day. My parents certainly had, and continue to have, concerns about my involvement in the cannabis industry. But they are in general very supportive. On the other end of the spectrum, I have only received very positive comments from my friends. I am lucky to have so many great supportive people in my life!
One of my motivations in creating High Class Eats was to show the world that cannabis users can be successful educated professionals and vice versa.
Which San Francisco neighborhood do you currently call home?
What are your favorite neighborhood spots?
You can frequently spot me at Reveille and Café St. George for coffee and breakfast. I am so inspired by the great restaurants in San Francisco, and some of my favorites so far have been Alba Ray’s, Dosa, Petite Marlowe, La Ciccia, and CALA.
What is your favorite app on your phone?
What is the one item in your fridge you can’t do without?
Where and when did you have your favorite meal?
The most memorable meal of my life was at Alinea in Chicago in December 2015.
What are your favorite shops in San Francisco?
I love the Epicurean Trader, this cute little shop in Glen Park called Perch, and all of the shops in the Ferry Building. You can usually find me perusing them after I visit the farmer’s market on Saturdays.
Thank you, Laura!
Recipe for Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Lavender Scented Glaze
From Laura Matsie of High Class Eats
3/4 cup olive oil*
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
3 cups flour sifted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 lemons zest and juice
1 lemon zest and juice
1 tbsp dried lavender flowers
1 cup powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
1. Preheat oven to 325° and grease a bunt cake pan (or similar).
2. Beat together olive oil, sugar, eggs, sour cream, and the zest and juice of two lemons.
3. Sift flour and combine with baking soda and salt.
4. Adding a little bit at a time, stir dry ingredients into oil mixture until well combined.
5. Pour cake batter into prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
6. Allow the cake to rest for about 15 minutes on a cooling rack before inverting.
7. Zest the remaining lemon and set aside. Simmer the lavender flowers with the juice of the lemon in a small sauce pan over low-medium heat until fragrant (5-10 min). Strain and discard the flowers, reserving the juice.
8. Combine the powdered sugar with the warm lavender lemon juice; and the lemon zest. Add hot water one tablespoon at a time until your glaze reaches a good consistency to pour over your cake. (This should be similar to the texture of a good gravy. Thick enough to coat a spoon, but thin enough to spread when poured.)
9. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake.
10. Serve and enjoy!
Make sure to purchase “culinary lavender” that pesticide free and is suitable for consumption.
Do ahead: you can make the cake the day before serving and then glaze it shortly before guests arrive.
*To make this recipe cannabis infused:
Simply substitute your desired amount of cannaoil for the un-infused olive oil. (For example, I used 1/4 cup cannaoil and 1/2 cup un-infused olive oil.) Make sure you mix your cake batter very throughly to ensure even distribution throughout the cake.