Chef Ra, the legendary chef who cooked with marijuana

Born in 1950, Jim Wilson Jr -better know as Chef Ra- was the one of the first rastafarians chefs in the whole history. Although he was born in Charleston, (West Virginia), he spent most of his life in Urbana (Illinois), place where he began to take interest in reggae music, and lifestyle linked to cannabis.

Two facts marked his life in a definitely way: A trip to Woodstock music festival, an also the growing impatience regarding the Vietnam War.

He also had experiences with the Black Panthers, and worked as a expert dj in many reggae clubs.

But if Jim was known, it was because of his work as a cooker. In the early eighties he starts to using marijuana not only for recreational purposes, but to create delicious recipes that hadn't seen never before.

He was a strong advocate of medical marijuana in an era in which just few people started to talk about the benefits of cannabis.

"When I think about a new recipe, or if I am preparing a new dish, I think of people who are seriously ill, and how cannabis can help to relief their pain"

He became well known across USA in November 1987 when he appeared on the cover of "High Times" as a 'ganja gourmet'. The editor of the magazine asked then him to collaborate with "High Times", by writing writing a column about cooking with marijuana... and thus "Chef Ra's Psychedelic Kitchen" was born.

His style of writing was humorous, very funny, but firmly pedagogic as a good advocate of medical marijuana.

Chef Ra appeared on several DVDs, including “Chef Ra's Ganja Gourmet” in which he featured wonderful recipes like Rasta Pasta Pesto, Springtime Ganja Nachos, and his recipe to cook 'the ultimate hash brownies'.

Sadly, he is no longer with us, since he died in 2006, but his important legacy, and his good vibes, are still being an encouraging way of life for all the people who want a world free of prohibitions on marijuana.

Here is one of his recipes for “High Times”. Easy to baker, and delicious cookies.

Chef Ra’s Magic Peanut Butter Cookies

- 1 bag peanut butter chips
- 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 cups biscuit baking mix (Bisquick mix will do)
- 7 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 stick butter or margarine
- 1/4-oz finely chopped ganja buds or fan leaves
In a large bowl, mix the peanut butter and milk until mixture is smooth. Add in the biscuit mix and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Set aside. In a double boiler pot (one pot that fits inside the other separated by water), slowly heat the butter or margarine over a low flame. Add ganja and cook for 45 minutes, tending to the cooking process to make the butter never burns. When finished, strain out all the ganja particulate and save the sweet ganja butter. Set aside and allow to cool slightly. Then stir the butter into the dry mixture until it’s smooth. Roll the dough into small balls, flatten them out, and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake cookies for 6 minutes or until they’re light brown. Makes about 4 dozen.