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It’s a surreal experience to find yourself laid out on a random lawn in West Hollywood, stoned on salmon and wondering how the hell you’re going to make it back to the office.

Such are the occupational hazards of a food writer in these legalized-weed–obsessed times. A few hours before, I had set out to create a stoner experiment that would combine my passions—eating smoked salmon and smoking khush—into one THC-laced meal. The seeds of the idea were planted when I read that a bagel shop in Denver (of course) had done it. I’ll be honest—the thought of appetizing classics and stoner grub coming together like Voltron got me very emotional.

To kick off my quest, I reached out to Evan Fox, the owner of the L.A. food truck Yeastie Boys Bagels, to ask if he and his fellow stoner Bagel Lords would help make my dream of a THC-infused smoked-salmon bagel breakfast into a reality. The truck has the words “bagels • lox • schmear • other shit” scrawled on the side of it and I usually hear Illmatic blaring out of the vehicle when I run by, so I figured the dudes inside might be sympathetic to this craving.

Turns out I was right. “Let’s kill this,” was Evan’s simple response, and a plan was set in motion involving a production kitchen in North Hollywood, ghost-pepper THC oil, and a gang of cannabutter. Contrary to popular belief, stoners can be very industrious, especially when it comes to thinking outside the box.


Stepping into the Yeastie Boys production kitchen, I had no idea how this salmon-weed-bagel creation would come to fruition. Fortunately, the crew—consisting of Ben Posner (truck chef), Eliana Perez (chef/head bagel baker), Evan Fox (owner/Bagel Lord), Ras Mathis (bagel shop homie with dreads), and David Cohen (other bagel shop homie)—had all the weed en place ready to go when I arrived. The haul included the THC ghost-pepper oil to rub down the salmon with, cannabutter to sauté the veggies in for the cream cheese, and a jar of weed nugs generously provided by Ras.

Any stoner will tell you that different occasions call for different strains of weed, and the Yeastie Boys had their own set of opinions when it came time to choosing the right bud for this experiment: “We’d do a hybrid of some sort—but that’s just our personal preference. If it’s going to be a breakfast thing, Sativa that shit.”ingredientsdiagram_With that question settled, it was down to business. Eliana rubbed down the salmon with THC ghost-pepper oil, olive oil, and minced garlic. Ghost pepper weed oil? Is that some sort of weird shit where you voluntarily put yourself in pain so you can medicate with drugs? That sounds like a terrible idea. I stopped and wondered what I had gotten myself into. “When Ben and I get together, it’s straight fire,” Eliana assured me. 1Rubbing_salmon

Meanwhile, Ben got the DIY smoker prepped, applying flames to wood chips and weed nugs inside a hotel pan lined with foil. “I love smoking shit,” he said. He got the kindling “hot as a mofukka” because the smoke billowing out of this sides looked cool on camera. But he noted that, in general, you’d actually want to keep it around 175°F to 200°F when hot smoking fish. He topped the salmon off with lemon slices and threw in two avocado halves before using another hotel pan to lock in the smoke.lighting_woodchips3steamer-1


The cannabis oil delivered pure weed potency to the fish as it cooked; the nugs in the smoker, on the other hand, probably just helped hotbox the room. But it wasn’t until we started sautéing the veggies for the cream cheese in cannabutter that everything got really chill. I took a big whiff; contact highs, I remembered, are wonderful accidents. 4adding_butterWhile receptors were firing in my brain, Eliana explained that you need to keep the heat as low as possible when melting the butter to prevent the THC from burning off. Obviously, this did not work according to plan. Still, she had the composure to sauté the garlic, scallions, and bell pepper until soft, then let the veg cool and mix it into the Philadelphia cream cheese. Respect.4adding_butter2Mixing_cream_cheese

Finally, it was time to assemble the sandwich. Ben cut a puffy and golden-brown everything bagel in half, smeared on the cannabutter cream cheese, fanned out some avocado slices, and placed a fatty piece of the THC-infused salmon on the bagel. placing_salmon

How did the stoner’s delight fare? The salmon had an earthy, slightly smoky flavor with just a tiny kick from the ghost-pepper oil. The cream cheese was flavorful and heavy on the garlic, and the smoked avocado sort of tasted like it was infused with bacon. And if you don’t know, a bacon-flavored avocado is exactly what you want to eat when you’re faded.


After congratulating the squad on a job well done—and taking a few bites of the sandwich, plus a couple extra licks of cream cheese straight off my finger—I set out for the office. This transition was not without its own set of hurdles. I got distracted on the way to my destination and stopped to get a manicure and a kale-and-coconut smoothie. When I finally arrived about an hour later, I was at my desk for all of two minutes—contemplating whether my Jewish ancestors owned delis and appetizing shops at some point in history—before my editor asked, “How high are you?”unspecified-15

At this point, that smoked-salmon high was getting extra real. I put on Portishead, placed my coworker’s puppy on my lap, and zoned out for the majority of the afternoon, eventually wandering the streets of West Hollywood and finding a stranger’s lawn where I could lay myself to rest.

I had achieved my weed-smoked salmon dream—and subsequently learned that I don’t do well with edibles. But that’s besides the point. The real moral here: You should never underestimate the ingenuity of stoners, especially when it comes to food.


Veggie-cannabutter cream cheese

Great on bagels. Also great licked straight off a spoon.


  • 2 tablespoons cannabutter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces cream cheese

Procedure: Melt cannabutter over low heat. Add garlic, scallions, and bell pepper to the pan and sauté until veggies are soft. Let the vegetables cool, then mix them into the cream cheese along with the salt and pepper. Schmear cream cheese onto your bagel, lick remnants off the spatula, and chill.


Visit the Yeastie Boys permanent pop-up inside Alfred Coffee {In The Alley}; 8509 Melrose Ave (323-944-0811).