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March 10, 2020
The Spark: Talking to Kitchen Toke’s Joline Rivera

In 2016, Joline Rivera watched as her close friend’s father lost his battle with lung cancer. During his last moments, Rivera gave him some really good THC-infused dark chocolate and saw how cannabis relieved his pain, sparked his appetite, and lightened his mood. It inspired her to create a media platform to provide info on the benefits of culinary cannabis and so Kitchen Toke was born. And that friend? She’s the art director.

Rivera began her career as a creative director, working for the likes of Crate & Barrel, Food Network Kitchens, and Meredith Publishing to name a few. Read on to hear what the Chicago-based founder thinks about dosing all day, her favorite munchies spot, and the power of personal style to change cannabis stereotypes.

On how she uses cannabis: I don’t smoke, and contrary to what people might think, I don’t like to feel high. Instead, I dose all day with 2 mg, 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC. It’s a nano dose — just enough to feed my endocannabinoid system and keep my overall inflammation down while staying healthy and alert.

On how she doses: I have a recipe to make my own high potency cannabis oil. It’s also known as RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) and it’s 1:1 tincture of CBD to THC. I’ll put it in a capsule and take it before coffee. I treat it like my daily vitamin. You can find that recipe in our spring issue, out in April.

I try to make a smoothie daily with a shot of Lumens Hemp juice, vegan protein powder, fresh spinach, and a few drops of RSO oil. I also love using fresh cannabis leaves in my salads. Plus, I keep a batch of CBD infused spiced almonds with me when I travel so I can snack healthfully.

On her favorite cannabis recipe: We were on location at Apple Creek Farms in Southern California where chef Derek Simcik cooked a meal over an open fire. The grilled watermelon Salad with infused vinaigrette was my favorite. I loved the mix of watermelon, the light smokiness from the wood, and the earthy flavor of fresh cannabis leaves. It’s so simple and so good. Here’s the recipe and you can watch him make the entire meal here

On her best cooking with cannabis tip: People talk about microdosing (10 milligrams and under) a lot but I’m a fan of nano dosing (anything between 1-5 milligrams). I tell people to start low and wait it out. Don’t be impatient! If you don’t feel anything after a few hours, add a little more. Most people eat cannabis, don’t wait long enough, consume more, and by the time it all kicks in, they realize it was too much.

On a favorite food spot in Chicago, if you have munchies: We just published that story in our winter issue! It’s not what you’d expect—I was even surprised and I’ve lived in Chicago for most of my adult life. One standout is Caravanserai, a Mexican drinking chocolate café. I love how you can complement the earthy, berry, or floral notes of your bud with their beverages!

On the power of personal style: I work in an industry that struggles with stereotypes so I make it a point to wear nice basics from quality brands like Vince, rag & bone, and Current/Elliott to name a few. When I need to dress up, I love Phillip Lim and Prabal Gurung. I also have an obsession with watches – I feel naked without one! I love fashion and whether I’m at work, home, meetings, or exercising, I always make sure to be put together.

On her approach to wellness: I’m a firm believer that aging is a disease and not something we should accept so it’s really important I sleep well. I rarely sleep less than 7.5 hours and usually I prefer a full 8 hours. I’m an intermittent faster, so I don’t eat before noon but cannabis is in every meal I eat. Food is medicine and I believe in the power of functional foods, which includes cannabis. Each day is filled with fresh produce, lots of dark leafy greens food and some fruit but not too much because it’s still sugar. Our motto is “eat your greens” and that’s because it’s what we really do!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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