Broccoli #1 and Kitchen Toke #1
Broccoli and Kitchen Toke are two new magazines that have one thing in common: the ambition to tackle cannabis’s image problem.
While Kitchen Toke delves into the world of cannabis-infused cooking, Broccoli is a magazine for women who happen to like weed. Both US-based, the magazines hit American newsstands in November, making their way to magCulture’s shelves in early-2018 (Kitchen Toke that is. Broccoli – a free magazine – sold out before it could journey across the Atlantic).
The timing could not be more apt. Just two weeks ago, on 1 January, the state of California legalised the recreational use of cannabis for adults over the age of 21. California is America's most populated state and such a bold move will no doubt set the tone for future changes to legislation, both in America and further afar.
Broccoli is the brainchild of Anja Charbonneau, former creative director of Kinfolk, and is produced by an all-female team (several of whom are also former Kinfolk employees). The magazine looks at cannabis through the lens of arts, culture and fashion and seeks to dispel the myth that success and cannabis are mutually exclusive. Anja’s creative force can be seen from page one. The magazine is beautifully designed with an equal emphasis on words and imagery; its’s clean and smart with an occasional visual nod to its subject– some of the headlines (above) and the distorted type of the Broccoli logo. A particular mention should go to Seeking Arrangement, a series of images that depicts Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, in which a cannabis plant elegantly stands among more conventional blooms (below).
Article-wise, Broccoli presents a thoughtful assortment. An interview-led feature discusses the medicinal benefits of CBD, one of 80 cannabinoids (active chemical compounds) found within the cannabis plant, which, unlike THC (the most widely used cannabinoid), will not make you feel high. Another article (above) questions whether the normalisation of weed could turn a “creative adventure into a capitalist transaction.” It is also worth noting that Broccoli resists the temptation to write exclusively about cannabis. Like the women the magazine targets, it loves cannabis but is not consumed by it.
Comparatively, Kitchen Toke does what it says on the tin. A magazine about cooking with cannabis, essentially it is a cookery book condensed and presented in magazine format. The recipes are creative and include sweet potato gnocchi (made using homemade cannabutter), pomegranate and cranberry compote, and cannabis cashews. Among the recipes there is a helping of features – a Chicago-based chef reflects on cooking with cannabis as a means to heal her family, and a report discusses the crop of newly trained chefs heading into realm of cannabis cuisine – but it feels a little safer, even as it is goes beyond cannabis as a a plant and shows the finished article (below).
The magazine is well put together, with strong illustration from known names – David Plunkert created the cover art. It is attractive and articles read well, but there are few surprises among its pages.
Both Broccoli and Kitchen Toke strive to tackle cannabis’s image problem. Gone are the stereotypes of stoners sat smoking in a dingy bedroom, instead the magazines shine a light on cannabis as an accompaniment to fulfilled living. Ambitious, creative and high-achieving people use cannabis. They have done for a while and as the world catches up, no doubt there will be plenty more magazines where Kitchen Toke and Broccoli came from.
Editor-in-chief and creative director: Anja Charbonneau
Editor-in-chief: Laura Yee
Creative director: Joline Rivera