Meet Mike, the chef behind High Folks Edibles
Updated: Mar 18, 2019
At the start of his culinary journey, Mike was a plucky 18-year-old Torontonian experimenting with cannabis-infused food to help a quadriplegic high school friend of his. It was this passion that led him across the pond to London to hone his cooking skills.
“I arrived in this huge city with such determination,” Mike recounts, “I was so eager to start learning and show everyone what I could do.”
Living in the infamous south London neighbourhood of Brixton, Mike soon found that his knack with making edibles made him a lot of friends - there was a high demand for his THC treats. Mike’s hard work and resolve soon paid off; not long after arriving in London, he landed himself a job working in the kitchen at the world’s first Moët & Chandon bar, located in the renowned luxury department store, Selfridges.
“It was crazy. I was thrust into this world of fine dining, but I loved every second of it, and I learned so much.”
It was there he met his wife, Akousa, a London native, and their relationship was further cemented when they found out they attended the same top institute for hospitality and culinary arts in central London. After having the Moët bar experience under his belt, Mike went on to work at some of London’s top fine dining establishments and earned himself a Head Chef role at the Tower of London.
Mike considers himself very lucky “I was able to work with amazing chefs who loved fresh ingredients, which definitely still inspires me today. I would wake up at 3.30am to hit the famous meat and fish markets like Smithfield and Billingsgate.”
However, home beckoned, so he, his wife, and their 2-year-old son made the journey back to Toronto. This was eight years ago, and they haven’t looked back.
“Toronto is home. I learned everything I could in London, but the goal was always to always to come home some day.”
Once back home, Mike started to delve deeper into experiment infusing food with cannabis. “A high school buddy of mine is quadriplegic, and we found that medicinal marijuana helped him a lot with muscle spasms. I was experimenting with oils and butters, trying to use cannabis with everyday food.”
And it’s this that has become the foundation of what Mike is trying to do with High Folks Edibles: promote the infusion of cannabis with fresh ingredients and share it with the world. “I was told by one of my mentors that knowledge is worth nothing unless you share it, and I’ve always worked that way. It’s why I want to teach others what I know.”