Netflix Review: Cooking on High

Cooking on High, an original Netflix series hosted by Josh Leyva and weed expert Ngaio Bealum, is the first ever competitive cannabis cooking show, which revolves around creating ‘tasty edibles’.

There is currently 1 season of the show on Netflix, featuring 12 episodes which average at 14 minutes per episode. Each episode is based around a different theme, which the chefs use to inspire their weed-infused dishes. These dishes are then assessed by 2 guest judges each week, who decide on the winning cannabis creation.

“This intent for humour became a repetitive theme throughout the episodes, which wasn’t always successful”

The first episode, ‘Afternoon Delight’, faces the chefs with a ‘lunchtime challenge’. Ngaio introduces the hybrid strain ‘girl scout cookies’, which is used to create the cannabutter infused into the chefs’ respective ‘gangafied grilled cheese’ and ‘killer cod cake’. The dishes are rated out of 10 by the guest judges, followed by a ‘timeout’ where the judges assess if and how high they feel after eating the edibles.

This basic structure is consistent throughout all episodes, with the differing factors being the chosen strain, the selection of judges, and the theme. At the end of the episode a message on the screen reads ‘all of the cannabis cuisine featured in this program was intended for medicinal purposes only and was prescribed, prepared and consumed in accordance with local laws. However, all the individuals who consumed the medicated cuisine suddenly got the urge to ‘chill and watch TV’, which I assume was intended to be humorous. This intent for humour became a repetitive theme throughout the episodes, which wasn’t always successful.

The most interesting thing about the show is the challenge of a different theme each episode, which means there are always different kinds of food being created, spanning various cuisines and food types. To name a few, episode 2 ‘Going Green’ is dedicated to creating vegetarian meals, episode 11 ‘Mexicasian’ explores how these two cuisines can be played with to create immense flavour, and the ‘French Fried’ episode features an extra special French onion soup, though this particular episode is somewhat tainted by one of the judges who awkwardly kept trying a bit too hard to be funny.

Cooking on High is a good one to watch if you want to find out about some traditional food you may have not otherwise come across, for example episode 5 ‘Southern Comfort’ centres around soul food in a battle between shrimp with grits and a deconstructed country boil with seafood and sausage. In addition, if you’re a food-lover keen on carbs, with a whole episode being assigned to the food group (featuring a mouth-watering truffle mac and cheese dish) there is a good chance you will find some enjoyment in watching this show. Episode 3 is also carb-inspired as it challenges the chefs to make potato-based edibles, who pull together a pesto gnocchi and garlic potato dish, both of which go down well with the judges.

“The show didn’t quite cut it for me in terms of entertainment value”

To conclude, if you’re a foodie, I recommend giving Cooking on High a try. I definitely consider myself a foodie, though the show didn’t quite cut it for me in terms of entertainment value. However, with the length of an average episode being only 14 minutes, it’s a good pastime or something to put on in the background. I like the concept of the show, and I guess you could even call it educational with Ngaio sharing information on the different strains in each episode, however I was expecting it to be more humorous given what it is based upon.


Alana McKenna

Media courtesy of Stage 13 and Netflix via IMDb. 

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