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Too High to Pie

Editor's note: On Monday, Portland's best new pizzeria, the old-school hip-hop-themed P.R.E.A.M., hosts a pizza-and-weed pairing dinner. We are pretty stoked—and as of our deadline, a few tickets were still available. In honor of the event, we reached out to Portland's original cannabis columnist to provide his own pizza-and-strain pairings.

Pairings are all the rage in cannabis right now. Thanks to recent leaps in research accomplished by teams in Israel and locally, we're learning a lot more about terpenes, the odoriferous organic compounds responsible for some of your favorite scents, such as pine, lemon and peppermint.

Fortunately, appreciation of cannabis pairings can be diverted from the curse of pinkies-up pomposity that plagues wine and even beer, partly because it's hard to get too high and mighty about a plant that was cloaked in black lights and Marley posters just a little over a decade ago.

And yet, the magic of pizza is that you can dress it up or down. Here are some of my favorite weed-and-pie pairings.

Apizza Scholls Bacon Bianca with Super Sour Diesel

Apizza Scholls is the city's sauce- and dough-slinging king, and certainly doesn't need much in the way of enhancement, so I'd go with a couple light hits of Super Sour Diesel, a Sour D/Super Silver Haze mash-up suited for early-evening conversation. An ideal batch of flower would accentuate the Sour's high-caryophyllene profile, with the peppery bacon and earth bass notes of the Haze a good match for the pizza's umami-rich pecorino/Parmigiano blend.

Hotlips Smoked Ham and Pineapple with Pineapple Express

Portland has plenty of high-quality pig-and-piña options, but Hotlips gets the call because Hawaiian-style pizza is best served as a cacophony of sweet, sour, smoky and savory flavors, all bedded down in melted cheese. Pineapple Express gets the nod over more authentically flavored Golden Pineapple and Pineapple Kush because the brighter notes stand up well to the smoke and salt of the ham. (And because Hotlips delivers.)

Ken's Artisan Margherita with Cinex

One straightforward peak of style deserves another. Cinex's effects are all-around: floaty enough to get spontaneous heads churning and hips wiggling, yet balanced with practically a body melt that's better described as relaxation. Ken's take on the Margherita, the true measure of any pizzaiolo, is wood-fired perfection—crust charred and chewy, the creamy fresh mozzarella layered with crispy whole-leaf fried basil. Like Apizza Scholls, there's no need to fake an appetite. Toke easy beforehand and savor the bites, service and spectacular dining space.

Little Caesars Deep!Deep! Dish Pepperoni with Jack Herer/Blue Dream shake that's been aired out for six months.

Crack open a Dew and fire up some Twisted Metal 2, and you've accomplished what I liked to call a quadro-fecta in the late '90s.

Flying Pie Stromboli with Blue Magoo

A powerful hunger is required to plow through this Montavilla institution's thick discs. Blue Magoo is my go-to for premeal tokeage, but is especially well-suited at Flying Pie because the strain is socially engaging enough for soccer parties or at least a few rounds of four-player tabletop Pac-Man. The blueberry lineage also serves to mitigate the Stromboli's garlicky sausage and onion onslaught.

Sizzle Pie Raising Arizona with Dogwalker

Dogwalker has enormous versatility. In lower doses, a night-shift navigation through the glass and steel of downtown to Sizzle Pie's West Burnside location could be in the offing, and the strain's powerful effects pair well with the late-night oddities in Big Pink's moon shadow. Too many hits, and Dogwalker will work like an elephant tranquilizer. If you'd prefer sticking to the couch and Fury Road, find a middle ground and dial in a house call. Either way, the peppery Parmesan chicken and bacon combo of Raising Arizona holds up well to the dense earth and loam aromas of a bowl of Dogwalker OG.