Get ready to stir up your holiday cooking routine with a dose of cannabis delight! Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey, the author of “The Art of Weed Butter,” joins Ellen, host of Do The Pot for a lighthearted, yet enlightening chat about her personal journey in holiday cooking with cannabis and the unexpected benefits it brings to her holiday meals. This special episode peels back the layers of cannabis cooking, from the fundamental need for precision in measurements to the thrilling unpredictability that makes it a unique culinary adventure. With Mennlay’s insights and her very own cookbook serving as a guide, we navigate the cannabis-infused landscape of food and culture.
The conversation further broaches the larger social dialogue around cannabis, discussing its changing legal status and its impact on holiday cooking, traditions and family dynamics. Mennlay opens up about her family experiences, sharing how cannabis has not only brought them closer but also sparked important conversations around healing and self-medication. She also touches on Mennlay’s best practices for choosing cannabis dosages for recipes, managing the effects, and understanding strain effects. From tales of her 80-year-old aunt’s journey with CBD to her favorite cannabis-infused recipes, this episode is a treasure trove of heartwarming stories and practical insights.
Here are the links for this special holiday cooking episode:
- Mennlay Golokey Aggrey’s website @mennlay
- The Art of Weed Butter on Amazon
- Do The Pot website with host Ellen Scanlon @dothepot
- Talking Pot with Ellen episode
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That’s it for this week friends. I hope this inspires some fun holiday cooking in your home. Please email me any questions, comments, pictures of your creations or anything else, I love hearing from listeners! Direct messages to [email protected] or the podcast hotline.
Unleashing Creativity in Cannabis Cooking (00:00:42)
Discover the artistry and safety measures involved in cooking with cannabis.
Evolving Perspectives: Cannabis in the Modern Family (00:04:02)
Explore the changing dynamics of cannabis conversations within families.
Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed (00:05:07)
Unlock the secrets to precise measurements, overcoming challenges, and enjoying the culinary delights of cannabis-infused dishes.
Delving into Cannabis and Foodways (00:13:29)
Join author Mennlay Golokey Aggrey as she delves into the fascinating intersection of cannabis and diverse culinary traditions.
Indulging in Tasty Munchies and Cannabis Cocktails (00:14:02)
Satisfy your cravings with Mennlay’s top picks for munchies and get a taste of her adventurous cannabis cocktail creations.
Cannabis: A Catalyst for Family Bonding (00:17:27)
Discover how cannabis brings families closer together and promotes healing, including a heartfelt story about the transformative power of CBD.
Marge (00:00:06) - Welcome back friends! This week I have a special episode to share with you and I'm doing something a little different. You'll be hearing from Ellen, a former podcast guest and host of How to Do the Pot. In this episode, Ellen interviews cannabis enthusiast and author of the Art of Weed Butter. Together, they dig into how many creates delicious, share worthy edibles in our home kitchen, and I know you'll be inspired. Please enjoy this conversation with Ellen and Mennlay.
Ellen (00:00:36) - This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.
Mennlay (00:00:42) - I love to cook what I'm buying. I think for some people that can be dangerous. And so we have to really give ourselves some like safeguards. But I think it does lend to being more creative in the kitchen and really like leaning in with your senses rather than, I'm going to make this like exact thing.
Ellen (00:00:59) - Welcome to How to Do the Pot, a podcast helping you feel confident about cannabis. I'm your host, Ellen Scanlan. You just heard from Mennlay Golokey Aggrey.
Ellen (00:01:13) - A Mexico City based cannabis creative consultant, chef and author of a cookbook called the Art of Weed Butter. With cannabis legal in nearly half of all U.S. states, it's also becoming more welcome around the holidays. What better way to celebrate than to make your own delicious weed infused foods to enjoy with friends and family? If your holiday we'd memories involve a secret cousins walk to smoke a joint. Today's episode will help you elevate your taste buds to a whole new level. Mennlay's cookbook, the Art of Weed Butter, is a step by step guide to infusing cannabis into just about anything. She has recipes like simple stony hash browns, fluffy blueberry pancakes, cannabis infused Mexican street corn, and West African fried chicken. If you're considering dipping your toe into cannabis cooking, many is here to help with all her best tips about holiday celebrations with weed. We'll talk about the easiest and the hardest parts of cooking with cannabis, choosing weed cocktails over alcohol, and share some of Mennlay's favorite recipes if you're cooking for a crowd.
Ellen (00:02:49) - Mennlay has been working in the cannabis industry since 2004. That's a lot of holidays to navigate with friends and family. As we're preparing for a busy social season, there is one conversation starter that always entertains me and that's weed. I asked mainly how the conversations about cannabis have changed with her family.
Mennlay (00:03:13) - It was super, super secret for a very long time and in the height of when I was cultivating indoor, I was back and forth visiting family, buying flights here and there. We were traveling all the time and there was an understanding of, okay, gosh, how is she like have this money to do this? But also how is she also bringing this cannabis with her? You know, for us to kind of explore together. And so I was always really secretive about that because I was trying to protect my mother and protect my family. It just wasn't as accepted, both legally and I think stigma wise. But now when I tell you that my mother has like three vape pens and that oftentimes when I go home, a family member is the plug, I just am.
Mennlay (00:04:02) - I'm overjoyed by this expansion and this elasticity of what it means to to be a consumer and to again celebrate and enjoy this plant with your family and with your community. That's that's your blood. It's just such an empowering element because for so long, us in the industry, you feel like, okay, maybe what I'm doing is wrong. And while I think, you know, in the back of your head that it's based on the stigma, it's really hard to push through that when you don't have the acceptance from family. And so this acceptance that I think a lot of us are sharing, it's great, it's incredible. And I'm grateful to all the advocates, to all of the activists, to everyone, to the lawmakers, you know, basically just being able to make cannabis where it is today so that we can really enjoy this during the holidays when we actually need it the most.
Ellen (00:04:54) - I hope the talking more about cannabis can be a way to find common ground with your friends and family. And if you're ready to give cooking with weed a try, Mennlay shares her advice.
Mennlay (00:05:07) - It's really important to have your measurements on lock. That is a number one super important. And while you know most times cooking is intuitive for beginners and for, you know, people who consider themselves chefs alike like that intuitive nature, unfortunately, is a little bit more restricted when it comes to cannabis. You know, unless you've been doing it a bunch, I think it's so important to just make sure everything's measured, write things down, have a cookbook journal where you can really put in, you know, the percentage of the cannabis strain that you're using, what type of fat you want to use, just measuring and like having all of that information is so important because at the end you can always go back and say, okay, this is how much this tablespoon is, you know, this is how much this salad dressing is. And so I can really be accurate with what my dose is going to be and what it's going to taste like.
Ellen (00:06:01) - I am not the most confident cook. So I asked mainly what she thinks is the hardest part of cooking with weed.
Mennlay (00:06:10) - I think the hardest part is that we it is such a fickle and flirty, magical, tricky girl. And so what you think you're starting out with isn't always going to be what you end up with. I think that's truly like the hardest part, which is why going back to really being super strict with yourself about writing down, you know, percentages, milligram consistencies, like what you really want to get out of it so that you can go back to that. And the measurement can be somewhat exact, close enough to it, but it's never going to really be exact. And I think luckily we have labs that you can get your end product sort of tested at. If you're someone who's starting out as a beginner, but maybe wants to just know what did the end product end up being.
Ellen (00:06:58) - And what does she think is the easiest part?
Mennlay (00:07:01) - I think it's easy to make it too strong. I think that is the easiest way. It's easy to enjoy the process, right? And it's easy to, I think, celebrate the fact that this is something that you can do for yourself, that this is something that you can experiment with in your home, safe and sound, and with all of the things that can kind of help you if things go awry.
Mennlay (00:07:27) - And so in that way, I think that is easy and and enjoyable.
Ellen (00:07:32) - As a cannabis chef, choosing the right dosages so that people eating your infused food feel good is really critical. Mennlay shares her tips for choosing how much weed to include in your recipes.
Mennlay (00:07:47) - The question of sort of the approach to dosing that I've changed, maybe is really starting slow with the amount of cannabis that you're using, but also starting really slow with the infusion process itself. So whether that be at a very, very low temp or even just doing something that's more of a quote unquote cold infusion, room temperature infusion, something that almost is like a little bit more like canning, in a sense, right? Where you put together those ingredients, set it aside for a month, kind of check back in on it, and then have that end result after like a longer period of time. I think that, for me, has been one of the biggest hacks. You're able to really preserve a lot of the cannabinoid content that is beneficial and also like a silent aide or helper in a sense, right, where you're not going to maybe feel as high, but you're going to have a lot of like THC, a present CBD, CBD, and also really having that like chirping flavor profile present and a little bit more integral in, in that mixture itself.
Ellen (00:08:54) - A lot of tasting of your cannabis infusions, and you might find yourself accidentally feeling pretty high. That is great if it's your intention, but if you want to feel less high, Mennlay has some tips.
Mennlay (00:09:10) - I think the biggest tip, and that could be plural, is like what to do when you get too high? Because that's something that for many of us, we sort of figure out too late in the game. And when you're cooking with cannabis and you're sort of testing out dosage ING yourself and maybe with other people, you kind of want to have, like those secret weapons, so to speak, like on the sideline so that you can quickly sort of adjust and get back to, you know, feeling a little bit more normal, feeling a little bit like you have more agency over your body and the weed not having agency over you. That can be anything from taking a cold shower to taking a nap, to taking CBD to really kind of, in a way, block out the THC from your receptors and just like, allow the CBD to sort of regulate and get you back to to normal.
Ellen (00:10:02) - This is one of my favorite tips to put some CBD oil tincture under your tongue. Hold it for 30s or so and you'll start feeling more like yourself in about 15 minutes. Products you buy in. Legal dispensaries are required to have a lot of information on their labels, which will help you as you're deciding the strains to cook with.
Mennlay (00:10:26) - Now, I think a lot of strains tend to have over 10% THC. What is really beautiful about going to dispensaries and buying, you know, legal weed is that you have all that information there. And so if you want to go with something that has less THC, cannabinoids present, maybe it's more of a 1 to 1, maybe it has more CBG or CBD present. I think that allows you automatically to know that it's going to be like a lower dose.
Ellen (00:10:55) - This question comes up a lot. If you have a favorite strain, does it make sense to use it for your infusion?
Mennlay (00:11:03) - As far as strain pairing, I tend to lean more towards the effects rather than the flavor profile.
Mennlay (00:11:12) - A lot of the terrapin profile can be cooked out unless you're doing like a cold infusion, or maybe a more long term infusion that doesn't use heat. But yeah, I think the desired effect, which goes back to knowing the information about the strain, which is a quick Google search, or, you know, maybe one of your trusted places on, on the internet. And that really helps us understand the percentage of cannabinoids present in the cannabis strain, what those effects might be, and kind of how that translates into what you want to cook and how you want to, you know, experience it.
Ellen (00:11:47) - Mennlay's cookbook, the Art of Weed Butter, feels like a guidebook from a good friend, and just saying it would make a great holiday gift. She's also a professional writer, and there's a lot more in the book than just recipes. It covers interesting weed history, explains cannabis words that might not be in your usual vocabulary, and she shares some personal stories. I felt like I learned a lot about her, and so I had to ask, does she have a favorite recipe from the cookbook?
Mennlay (00:12:19) - It felt like kind of gimmicky, if I'm honest.
Mennlay (00:12:23) - You know, to like, focus specifically on, you know, like edibles and like food that's going to get you so high and whatever. Like that felt for me, like a lot of the conversations surrounding edibles. And so when sort of writing the cookbook, I started to understand and recognize, like this passion I had when it came to exploring cannabis and foodways, even, like through this lens of our diasporas, you know, whether that be African, whether that be Latin American, whether that be Middle Eastern, like wherever that diaspora is, I think food and herbs and cannabis even really helped to sort of dissect and and help you explore what that looks like. And so there's a Chicana black beans and rice recipe that I really like. And it's very simple, you know, it's not highbrow at all. That was another thing about the cookbook that I was really struggling with. I'm kind of like, okay, there's a very specific sort of, I guess, like white gaze when it comes to culinary arts and when it comes to what a plate should look like and plating and etc..
Mennlay (00:13:29) - And so I was hesitant to even create that black bean recipe. And also the West African fried chicken recipe, which is from my mother by way of just, you know, being West African. Those at first felt like so corny and maybe forced and maybe too simple, but they've really become my favorite things to cook, and also just a really beautiful way of witnessing and seeing how things kind of move and shape and become a modern diaspora in, in the ways of food.
Ellen (00:14:02) - I talked to another accomplished cannabis chef, Amanda Jackson, about this in episode 167 how as people have spread all over the world, they bring their food traditions with them and then incorporate a love of cannabis into these meaningful meals. Ever since we put out our Weed Words Munchies episode, it's been so much fun to hear about the very unique things that people choose as their favorite Munchie. As I talked about in that episode, cannabis really does make food smell and taste better, so I'm always looking for new things to try. Mennlay shares her favourite munchies.
Mennlay (00:14:45) - I am a sucker for a cucumber salad of any kind, and I think why I love it so much when I have like munchies is because it's crunchy. I usually like it spicy with garlic and it's such like a cooling vegetable and type of salad to eat, you know? And so it has these components of kind of helping you, I think restore and get the most out of like your high if you would, you know if you will while also having a munchie at the same time. It's just like really fresh and refreshing. My other thing that isn't necessarily a meal is soda water. And I just love drinking soda water, a mineral, what we call it here in Mexico. And and also, just like I don't know, that element of bubbly, I like the sensations of things that I'm eating when I'm high. You know, I love to cook. Also when I'm buying, I think for some people that can be dangerous. And so we have to really give ourselves some like safeguards. But I think it does like lend to being more creative in the kitchen and really like leaning in with your senses rather than I'm going to make this like exact thing.
Ellen (00:15:52) - Mennlay loves to experiment with cannabis cocktails at home, and she has some tips for making them.
Mennlay (00:15:59) - When there's alcohol involved. For me, I, I tend to go with CBD, CBD, CBN when infusing cocktails. But if I'm going to do THC again it's going to be a low dose. I'm a low dose girly. I like like a 2 to 5 milligram per drink. That for me I think helps you to enjoy more cocktails. But also I think to not maybe scare somebody who's mixed, you know, cross fading for the first time. And they want to kind of enjoy both of those buzzes, but not in an overly overwhelming way. So to the actual cocktails, I am really obsessed with cucumber, anything green. And so I tend to always go for some sort of green mezcal infusion with cannabis, of course. And so oftentimes it's cucumber, it's cilantro. It's sometimes kale, green apple, ginger, something spicy. I think it's almost like a beautiful way of remembering that you're consuming herbs and things that are green and like foodways that are expressive and really good for you, while also having a little like re talks of whatever alcohol you're adding into it.
Ellen (00:17:13) - Legal cannabis and more social acceptance of weed might just change the holidays for you, and your family mainly believes that cannabis has helped to bring her family together. It plays a role.
Mennlay (00:17:27) - In the way that I think a lot of us also have it play a role where I think it's the the way to be a little bit more calm and tolerate all of the chaos that is family and also bring those together who you know, who love the plant in your family. And I think for me it's that walk with the cousins, but it's also a bigger conversation about how we heal as a family and how we've decided to, I guess, self-medicate ancestrally and to now through this plant and, and, you know, like really having that discussion surrounding what it means because that has been by far like my favorite part about the holidays, just really being able to kind of check in and have that conversation, peace be surrounding it. Cannabis, but also the larger dialogue of of family and and and who we are and what we all choose to do together.
Ellen (00:18:20) - If a family friendly holiday with weed seems out of reach. Mennlay shares a story of how her beloved Aunt Mildred really surprised her.
Mennlay (00:18:32) - She is my great aunt. She is now in her 80s and is a woman from born in Liberia, grew up a little bit in in England and now lives in the US and has for many decades. And so she's always struggled with arthritis and some other ailments that have sort of come up just with getting older, you know, and being on this earth a lot longer. And for the longest time, I always, always, always would kind of just like hint towards CBD. I would only gently mention it, especially when it came to arthritis. I really wanted her to try topical treatments, but I knew that because she was so religious, because there was such a stigma. She lives in Maryland surrounding that it wasn't legal then. There was no medical then that she would just kind of be anti. But it wasn't until the cookbook came out and some of her friends were starting to talk amongst themselves about, oh, Roger's taking CBD now for like his back pain and he feels so good.
Mennlay (00:19:33) - And they were just hyping it up. They're just this very sweet senior group that are like hyping each other up on this other thing that they could use to really help them. That's half the cost. That makes them feel somewhat similar in terms of pain relief. And that's super accessible. And she called me one day and she's like, why didn't you tell me that you wrote a whole book on CBD? Like my friend was talking about her husband and how they're using it, and I'm just, like, offended that you did it. Tell me about this and, like, offer it to me. And from then on, her and I are like the CBD queens. Every time I see her, I give her some stash. She's incorporated into her acupuncture practice that she'd never thought about before until really like accepting it, allowing these sort of natural treatments of care. It's caring for your body and having those community of friends that are willing to sort of explore that with you has just been such a game changer.
Mennlay (00:20:31) - And it's like the perfect story of thinking about how this space has progressed over the years, and how I think a lot of our relationships with cannabis has changed with our family and friends over the years, and the holiday season is that moment where you can take stock of it. Based on how many people are talking to you about weed now, like at the side table, when you're like getting your your plate, you know, it's just it's so refreshing. And I think it's the one thing that gives me hope, right, for the future of the space.
Ellen (00:21:05) - To learn more about cooking with cannabis, check out episodes 167 and 168, and you can grab a copy of the Art of Weed Butter wherever you buy books. If you liked this episode, please share it with a friend. We love new listeners and are here to help everyone feel confident about cannabis. Thank you for listening to how to Do the pot. For lots more information and past episodes, visit DoThePot.com. Are you one of the thousands of people who love how to do the Pots newsletter? If you're not getting it, please sign up at Do the Pot.
Ellen (00:21:48) - Com and if you like how to do the pot? Please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. It really helps people find the show. Thank you to producers Maddie Phair and Nick Petrie. I'm Ellen Scanlon, and stay tuned for more of how to do the pot.
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