Remembering Traditional Foods with Ganja from Aceh


Ganja, or you might call it marijuana or cannabis, is a plant with a lot of uses. Unfortunately, many people in Indonesia only recognize it as a drug to get stoned. Aceh is notorious as a producer of world-class marijuana in Indonesia. However, traditionally, there are many traditional foods with ganja from Aceh.

The delicious Kuah Beulangong. via Instagram/umayenri

Marijuana is illegal and people who caught in possession will get a minimum sentence of four years in prison. However, in Aceh, marijuana used to be a mere herb used for medicine and food seasoning. Here are some of the traditional foods with ganja from Aceh. Needless to say, these foods contain no cannabis at all these days.

Kuah Beulangong

This dish is commonly cooked in huge quantity. via Instagram/ns_abrar91

Also called Gulee sie Kameng is a unique dish. The main ingredients are young (unripe) jackfruit and lamb or mutton. This is a typical gulai, one of Indonesian take on curry. They use a lot of herb and spices. Marijuana was an important seasoning because it makes the meat tenderer quicker.

Additionally, marijuana is making the dish much more savory. It should be noted that traditionally, Kuah Beulangong is also cooked in huge quantities for the community where everyone can enjoy it.

Kari Sie Itek

The duck curry. via Instagram/dewieyanty_ilyas

This dish can be translated into ‘duck curry’. Just as the name suggests, the main ingredient is indeed ducked meat with generous use of coconut milk. There are lots of spices used for this dish. For example, you can find chili peppers, black pepper, white pepper, ginger, shallot, and garlic. They also use fried grated coconut to make this dish even more savory. In the past, marijuana is also an essential herb making kari sie itek.

Dodol Aceh

Illustration of Dodol Aceh. via Instagram/cutnovitayantii

Indeed, many places in Indonesia have their own dodol. It is a chewy sweet cake. The main ingredients of dodol are usually sticky rice flour and sugar. In most places, dodol has many flavors, usually the local fruits. In Aceh, however, dodol used ganja, mainly the seed part. Cannabis seed is adding a savory taste to any dishes. However, in the last few years, there are people who are purposefully making dodol Aceh with marijuana to get high. This is illegal.

Kopi Ganja

Illustration of kopi aceh. via Instagram/kedaikopisekardjati

Aceh Gayo specialty coffee is one of the best in Indonesia. However, there are also people who mix it with marijuana. Traditionally, kopi ganja wouldn’t make you high. It also has energizing properties and it tastes good. In addition, some say that kopi ganja has a little bit of nutty note and wonderful aftertaste.

Sie Itek. via Instagram/awesomeaceh

Marijuana in Aceh was genuinely a common herb with a lot of everyday practical use. Traditional foods with ganja from Aceh have become a thing in the past. Even though they use ganja purely to get a better flavor, the practice has stopped now along with the illegal status of the herb.

Aceh culinary ganja marijuana