Cody Lindsay, the face behind The Wellness Soldier, is a Canadian veteran, marijuana advocate, and cannabis chef. He created The Wellness Soldier to help veterans like himself lead vibrant lifestyles by incorporating a combination of healthy eating, fitness, meditation, and a dose of cannabis for those who are suffering from physical ailments and psychological issues such as PTSD.
How did you get into cooking?
When I graduated high school, I was like “Hmmm, what am I going to do now?” My mom was in the Canadian Forces and I started asking her questions about it, so I decided to join. When I thought of trades that could do that would be easy, I picked cook…I was wrong, it was not easy! So I went back to school for half a semester just to join our school’s culinary program so I wasn’t so lost in the kitchen when I joined the Canadian Forces.
I have been cooking professionally for 15 years, gaining my Red Seal Certification and becoming a National Member of the Canadian Culinary Federation of Chefs and Cooks (CCFCC).
How did you transition to cannabis cooking?
When I created The Wellness Soldier, there was a large outcry from the veteran/cannabis community to learn how to cook with cannabis. Being a chef, I enjoy teaching people how to cook as well as learn, and with the world of cannabis cooking there is always both teaching and learning.
How do your family and friends feel about your involvement in the cannabis industry?
I actually started The Wellness Soldier as a hub to help my mother who is suffering from severe PTSD. I knew if she needed help, other veteran families needed help.
As for my friends, I’ve lost a few acquaintances, but none of my actual core group of friends. I’m actually making more friends with my business, and helping families.
What challenges have you encountered?
Everyone wants everything for free!
People don’t realize I have to go to the grocery store and buy the food, prepare it, cook it, and then plate it. Not always perfect the first try either, so I buy enough to make it 2-3 times. Then comes the photography, as my wife is an amazing photographer. We have to style the food, set the props, set the specific background, multiple pictures and angles, all while retouching and fiddling with food and garnishes.
“Come out of the cannabis closet.”
What advice can you give to chefs who want to get into this industry?
Every dish doesn’t need to be “Dank AF” with 1000+ mg of THC.
Your favorite chefs?
My favorite chef of all time is Dean Johnson (the chef who trained me in the Navy), as well as other chefs who trained me in my life such as Ed Lafortune, Boyd Hollett, Matty Gregoire, & Harjeet Singh. For TV chefs, I really enjoy watching Chef Michael Smith, as his shows are about teaching.
I’m loving the emergence of other great cannabis chefs such as Chris Sayegh, Jeff the 420 Chef, Jessica Catalano, @puffinrepublic (instagram), Jamie Childress, and all the amazing people featured on 420 Foodie Club!
What is your cooking style?
I like to infuse all aspects of the meal not just the main course or sides.
I enjoy making raw products with cannabis oil as there is no chance that you can overheat and lose the cannabinoids.
Where do you see the future of The Wellness Soldier?
We are going for cannabis education and information. You will see [us] doing live cooking demonstrations, cannabis cookbooks, cooking with cannabis live shows, cooking videos, and cooking webinars.
Where do see the cannabis industry 5 years from now?
I see it being a multi-billion dollar industry and I want a piece!