The dope on cannabis cuisine

Marijuana has become a key ingredient in the recipes of Denver chef Scott Durrah, who prepares edible medical marijuana dishes.
CBS News

(CBS News) An ingredient you WON'T find in our brownies could become a growth industry in Colorado and Washington State, following popular votes in those states. Note we said "could," because federal law still bans its use. And just how should we refer to this controversial ingredient? Let Barry Petersen count the ways:

There are probably as many nicknames for marijuana as there are plants in this cultivation facility: nicknames like weed, grass, maryjane, Colorado cocktail, ganja, broccoli, chronic. The most popular is probably pot, but the one that may best describe it: giggle smoke.

And now it may have a new nickname - that "secret ingredient."

Denver professional chef and restaurateur Scott Durrah makes a Turkey chili that will both satisfy and stimulate your appetite

"It's like anything else my grandmother told me: 'Always taste your food,'" Durrah said. "So add a little as you go and at the end you put your last bit of seasoning in."

"I'd be afraid if I started tasting now I'd kind of lose my concentration," said Petersen.

"Well, you know, you're the interviewer. I'm the chef. I'm sort of used to this. I can do the tasting."

Marijuana-infused olive oil used by chef Scott Durrah. CBS News

Longtime advocates for marijuana use, Scott and his wife and business partner Wanda James (they run Simply Pure Products) have something to be truly thankful for this week. Colorado voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing pot for personal recreational use. In fact, more voted here in favor of pot legalization than voted for President Obama.

"We have had medical marijuana in Colorado now for almost three years," said James. "What we have seen from that is tremendous amounts of revenue. There has been nothing but positive in Colorado since medical marijuana has come.

"And that's why we've seen so many people vote to go ahead and legalize marijuana here in Colorado, because the sky did not fall underneath medical marijuana."

The success of dispensaries has already spawned a whole new business: Edible marijuana.

Cannabis cuisine has come a long way from Alice B. Toklas' 1954 "haschish fudge" recipe.

For today's cooking aficionados, cannabis can complement pretty much everything.

Durrah demonstrated preparing his marijuana-infused olive oil: "We're going to start with olive oil and I'm going to put two teaspoons of olive oil to get going."

"Two teaspoons would be equivalent to?" asked Petersen.

"In terms of the strength we have here, it's equivalent to about three and a half, four joints," Durrah said.