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Are you hosting some sort of Thanksgiving dinner with your favorite stoner friends? What about the all-so-popular and ever-emerging idea of Friendsgiving? If you are hosting some form of dinner for the holiday, and know everyone there is over the age of consumption, why not make your dinner all that better? To do this, we recommend including some homemade edible dishes into your meal. Where we are not telling you exactly what dishes you should be making, the following are some ideas on how to incorporate cannabis into your Thanksgiving dinner.

Canna-Olive Oil vs. CannaButter

One of the first questions you need to answer likely is how your are incorporating cannabis into your home goods. Making and consuming edibles at home involves one of two ingredients that can easily be incorporated into recipes. You are either using cannabis-based olive oil or you are using cannabutter. These two are the most commonly used ingredients because they are extremely prevalent in almost all recipes. And the beauty of using cannabis butter or olive oil is with just a few tweaks it can easily be implemented into what you are doing.

Our recommendation: When you are using these two products, figure out which one works better for you. Ease of purchase can often times be the deciding factor for many wannabe chefs. It can be a little easier to buy THC-infused olive oil where you will likely need to make your cannabutter at home. Before making a decision on what cooking product to use, figure out what you want to do and how creative you are feeling. Go from there.

Being Aware of Recipes

There are differences in the type of ways you can cook with canna-oil versus cannabutter. The way you incorporate these two items into your menu is going to depend on the recipes you make. For cannabutter, it is cooked into recipes. It works great for baking items and adding this in. But it makes it harder to cook on the outside of a recipe. For example, you are not necessarily going to want to waste cannabutter cooking it on the outside of a turkey, but you would be able to potentially use the olive oil for basting. Cannabis-based olive oils are great to include in recipes where you are cooking them in pans or such. Instead of cooking cannabis olive oil into the recipe, you are often using it on the outside.

This is normal for most recipes, so think about where you use butter and where you use olive oil. Plan accordingly in arranging which recipes you are going to be making with what you have. If you only have olive oil, which is easier to buy in stores as opposed to making the cannabutter, then make sure your recipes match up with this.

Micro-dosing for the Win

You have maybe heard of micro-dosing. This concept, something I have seen popular within the industry of cannabis and at more private events, is built around the idea of offering consumers a safe way of getting high while enjoying a variety of edibles. Imagine if you were to go to a party and you were to take a large number of cannabis-based edibles. Since everyone reacts differently, for you, this might be okay. But for many people, even a 10 MG serving cookie can rock their world. Microdosing is built around the concept of preventing this, of ensuring you are offering users the capabilities of consuming a larger amount of pot-infused goodies without the hassle of having to worry about how much they are eating. It is still important with micro-dosing to explain the concept of moderation. Eating an entire pan of micro-based goodies is still a way to get yourself uncomfortably high and to feel the after effects in a negative way. There is something to be said for micro-dosing, however, in offering your friends and pals a bit more of a better experience. Micro-dosing is also great for people who might be unfamiliar with edibles and are just wanting to experiment. It can offer people the chance to explore getting high on edibles without fully feeling like they are losing control of themselves.

Micro-dosing is the best way to go for a Thanksgiving meal. It allows you the chance to make a lot of different goods, and you enjoy the same benefits of consuming an edible while trying more flavors.

Clearly Marking the Cannabis Goods

This seems like a simple rule of thumb, but it is very important when you are consuming cannabis within a social situation. Colorado has done a great job of creating an edibles campaign where we have educated the people on what is acceptable use. Many consumers know they should not consume more than 10 mg but some people are not familiar with edibles. Even further, there is nothing worse, or more illegal, than unknowingly drugging someone. Especially if you are at an event with children, you will likely want to avoid breaking out the cannabis-based Thanksgiving foods.

The state of Colorado is very strict in what they allow to be shown as edible packaging and how these types of companies can sell themselves. When you are cooking with cannabis at home, you miss out on some of these safeguards. Make sure you are protecting your guests and yourself by clearly labeling anything that has been cooked with cannabis. Make sure you avoid cross-contamination; do not risk accidentally infusing multiple recipes with cannabis.

It is important you are safe and aware of what you are offering guests. The last thing you would want is for someone to have a bad experience as a result of attending your weed-friendly, Thanksgiving dinner.

Not Everything Needs to Be Cannabis-Based

Something else to consider for your cannabis-based meal. Not everything should be built around the world of weed. If you are hosting a meal and including some non traditional dishes in there through the form of cannabis, you do not need every single aspect of these dishes to be built around cannabis. I would argue that a majority of the dishes you are serving should not be cannabis-based. It can be fun to include a few edibles into your dinner, but not everything should be pot-based. People who do not want to consume should be able to attend without the need to feel awkward about how much cannabis is present. The menu should not be limiting and, as we most times know, when you get high there can be a desire to eat. When you get the munchies, the last thing you want to do is eat more pot based food. You want to make sure and offer normal, pot-free food that allows you and your guests the chance to enjoy the full meal without having to keep constantly getting high.

How do you navigate it then? Colorado is the greatest cannabis store in the world. The product might be spread out, but you will find that there are so many great strains in the state. So how do you find the right ones? Well, talking to people would be our go to method.

But there is more you can do. When finding the right strain, don’t be afraid of using all the great sources of information out there. From Leafly to Weed Maps to MassRoots, these online communities exist as a great means of sharing information about your strain experience. The other thing is, you should talk to your dispensary owners. When you are visiting a shop, whether the first time or the last, regardless of what you are doing, talk to people, ask them about what they offer. Ask them about what makes their store and their flower unique. A good bud tender will be able to explain this to you and a great bud tender will be able to give you information before you even know what you are looking for as a variation.

Here are some of the great questions that we always recommend when we are talking to budtenders to learn about the different options available for weed.

What is your shop known for with your cannabis?

Every shop is different, and it shows. Last month, we reviewed High Level Health, who offers amazingly powerful flower. Their pot is potent, and their indicas will knock you out. They offer a great option in this range. This month, I am working to review Preferred Organic Therapy, a long-time medical dispensary and new recreational shop. At P.O.T. you will find that their concentrates are some of the best around. They offer you fantastic fucking concentrates at a great price. If I am looking for a place to buy some product for dabs, I am not going anywhere but P.O.T.

The reason I talk about these two experiences is this: both of these shops are unique. And both of them, because they are good dispensaries, can tell me this. When you talk to Andy Klein at Preferred Organic Therapy, he is excited about his flower and concentrates. Talking with Kevin at High Level Health, he knows they have powerful flower. People in shops with a great product are always going to talk about that. Make sure that whatever place you go can answer this question. If you are somewhere where they cannot talk about the product they are selling, don’t buy, they likely are not that great to begin with.  

What strains would you recommend, or what would your average user tell us is the best?

Budtenders smoke. Shocking, I know. At the very worst, they are likely consumers of their cannabis but at the very best, they are likely to be in a place where they are highly educated about the weed they are selling. Great dispensaries have great bud tenders, not just attractive ones with a nice smile, but ones who can tell you all about what you are buying.

By talking with your bud tenders, you are going to learn about more of the specifics. You are going to find out what they recommend and why. By taking with budtenders, it makes finding the right strain much more personal. You can tell them what you do or do not like, and in turn they can make recommendations. Sometimes, there are shops that want to rush you out the door. If this is the experience, again, don’t go to these places. These places do not deserve your attention or your business. At a good dispensary, the budtender is going to help you make a selection whether it takes them 10 minutes or 30 minutes. Across the board, they are going to do what is best for you. By asking for personal recommendations and what is a shop favorite, you are probably steering yourself in the right direction.

Tell me about your test results, what are we likely to find from this specific strain?

Test results are always a great go-to source of information. Good test results are capable of helping you understand what you are looking for and help establish some information. It is always good to know that the marijuana you are smoking is healthy and sound, that it is a product which you can stand behind, that it is worth the purchase. Test results can sometimes tell you things that the average bud tender just cannot list for your off the top of their head.

Also, test results will help you explore how potent the strain that you are smoking is. It will help you explore what exactly you are putting into your lungs. It will help you make sense of what it is that you are doing and how you can expect results. CBD or THC; figuring out the different aspects of this always matters. Test results should always be kept in a visible binder at a dispensary and again, are a must when buying cannabis.

From there, you can only ask so many questions about cannabis. There are other pieces you should explore as well. Finding a strain that is right for you is a matter of personal preference and exploration.

Instead of just always sticking to one option, start to learn what is and what is not good for you. Figure out what you enjoy as a high and start trying to pursue that. Over time, I have learned I love sativas or CBD, knowing this makes me a much more informed consumer and provides me a better chance of getting something I love. It is more than possible for you to do the same. Explore. Learning about what I liked took me quite a bit of exploration and quite a bit of learning. There were times when I did not love what I was smoking, but through the process of a few bad highs and bad experiences, I was able to learn what I loved, making me a much better consumer.

Learning about what you like also has a second benefit. It helps teach you how to have great conversations! Whenever I get the experience of going to a store to buy more cannabis, I genuinely enjoy the experience because I have learned about what I like. There is no reason everyone cannot do the same! Take the time to ask questions.

If the dispensary is okay with it, great, they should be. If they are not, and are somehow unhappy with your questions, leave, they don’t deserve your business in the first place.