Netflix Review: 'Cooking on High'

Episode 9 (from left): Sam Jay, Mod Sun and Ngaio Bealum

Marijuana food shows are hot on TV. First there was Bong Appétit on Viceland and now there's Cooking on High – dubbed "the first-ever competitive cannabis cooking show" – on Netflix.

Hosted by YouTube star Josh Leyva, the show features two chefs and two celebrity judges per episode. Marijuana maven and comedian Ngaio Bealum serves as the cannabis consultant, delivering one bright-green strain each episode and dispensing wisdom about the differences between indicas and sativas and THC and CBD.

A total of 10 chefs face off over the 12 episodes and many of the judges make several appearances. While it's fine to see the chefs compete with each other from episode to episode, there's no real reason to bring back judges. Plus, most of the them are up-and-coming comics and rappers. Cookin on High needs more star power.

"Cooking on High" host Josh Leyva with the "coveted" golden pot trophy

The episodes are just 15 minutes long, so it's a not a huge commitment to breeze through Season 1. However, with the redundancy of introducing the same people over and over like its their first appearances on the series, Netflix's format of providing the whole season at once backfires.

Here are the chefs' records:

Mike Dilao 2-0

Andrea Drummer 2-1

Luke Reyes 2-1

Brandon Coates 2-1

Brian Vaccarella 2-1

Brady Farmer 1-2

Chef Nugs 0-1-1

Chef Dee 0-2-1

Andie Leon 0-1

Jonathan Portello 0-1

The celebrity judges are (apppeances in parenthesis): Mod Sun (2), Ramon Rivas II (2), hip-hop group Warm Brew (2), Brad Silnutzer (2), Vince Royale (2), Heather Pastornak (2), Vitaly Zdorovetskiy (2), rapper Wax (2), Chris Cope (2), Chris Bryant (1), Aristotle Georgeson (1), Rob Fee (1), Allen Strickland Williams (1), Sam Jay (1) and Solomon Georgeson (1). There are just two women chefs and two women judges. Of the judges, Pastonak, Williams and Mod Sun stand out.

The featured bud of each episode is simply viewed and never smoked, making it totally gratuitous. But Bealum does bring some needed knowledge to the stony proceedings.

The winners receive a potleaf sash, the "coveted" golden pot trophy and bragging rights in the cannabis community.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.