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This holiday season, I’m looking forward to creating new memories and celebrating traditions with my family, friends, and loved ones. As legal cannabis consumption continues to become more mainstream, consumers are beginning to incorporate it into their social gatherings and celebrations—and the holidays are the perfect time to start.
Using cannabis during the holidays can alleviate high-stress situations, especially if you are playing the host role.
My dream cannabis event would be partnering with a chef and bartender to create a delicious, holiday-themed menu. I would host the event in my backyard (we can do that in California in the winter) with mood lighting and comfortable outdoor seating.
We would start with three signature cannabis-infused festive mocktails, an excellent substitute for spirits without the hangover, paired with passed appetizers. Ideally, about 20 adult guests would be seated at a beautifully decorated table. Then we’d serve three courses featuring local, seasonal ingredients, with each course paired appropriately with the three cannabis-infused mocktails.
If you’re interested in hosting a cannabis-themed party or event and don’t know where to start, here are my tips for an enjoyable and stress-free night:
1. Curate your guest list
Let your potential guests know you will serve cannabis and only invite those you think might be interested in attending. This way, people can opt-out if they are not comfortable. Pro tip: it’s important to include individuals who are similar in their cannabis experience (e.g. a “canna-curious” event where people may not consume cannabis regularly vs. a “cannaseur” event where people are more knowledgeable about cannabis and consume often).
2. Don’t focus solely on cannabis
Your party should also involve other activities, like playing games or music — and food should be at the top of the list! Most of my friends and family are foodies, so for me, the food would still be the star of the show. Some hosts may opt for infused food. For example, cooking with cannabutter or cannabis-infused olive oil is fun to experiment in the kitchen. Or try infusing one of your appetizers or main courses with THC. Not sure what to serve for dessert? You could incorporate a low-dose cannabis sweet (chocolates would be my preferred choice) into your menu.
3. Go low and start slow
What works best for Guest A might not work for Guest B, as everyone’s tolerance level varies. As the host, it’s easier to control the amount of cannabis consumed throughout the night by your guests when you’re the one who’s providing it for them. For the canna-curious who may not know how cannabis affects them, I would suggest serving a low dose of THC, like 3mg or 5mg, in either beverage or edible form at the start of the evening and microdose accordingly.
4. Provide several forms of consumption methods
While cannabis is available in more formats than ever before, I don’t smoke or vape and prefer an infused beverage. That’s why you should offer different types of cannabis for your guests to consume — consider having a joint rolling bar, a vape-only section, or even pre-packed bowls placed strategically around your event space. Have some extra joints rolling around? Try fanning them out on a serving platter to elevate your guests’ experience. Be sure to have ashtrays handy throughout your space — you will want your guests to dispose of their ashes properly (it also makes cleaning up easier)!
5. Don’t serve any alcohol
While many people love their wine or another type of alcohol with their meals, I wouldn’t encourage mixing cannabis and alcohol. There will be plenty of other holiday parties guests can attend where alcohol is served. Remember that no matter what, your guests’ safety is the name of the game. Even though you’re not serving alcohol, make sure your guests have a safe way of getting home.
Coming together to celebrate the holidays and incorporating cannabis will continue to push the conversation forward and help normalize cannabis consumption. Cannabis can bring people together and create new memories that will last a lifetime. It can also be a lot of fun! To help get you started, below is a cannabis-infused mocktail recipe created by California bartender Ashley Wacker. Enjoy!
Just in Thyme for the Holidays
- 3-5mg of S*SHOTS
- 1.5 oz of cranberry juice
- 1.5 oz of pomegranate juice
- 1 oz lemon
- Shake together with thyme
- Strain over rocks into a stemless wine glass or collins glass
- Top with 1 oz of ginger beer
- Garnish with cranberries, thyme sprigs, and a few dashes of cinnamon