Throw a cannabis - infused dinner like a pro. Picture from Instagram (The Herb Somm)

You don’t need wine and cheese to host a classy party.  Whether you are entertaining cannabis consumers or trying to introduce friends and family to the wonders of cannabis, it can never be that easier as it’s something quite new to people unlike your cocktail party.

We spoke to a cannabis chef, Jamie Evans aka The Herb Somm on how to throw a sophisticated cannabis - infused dinner like a pro and below is what she said.

Start low, go slow 

If you are planning to serve infused cuisine, remember this golden rule, “start low, go slow”. During my infused dining experiences, I’ll work with a chef-partner to craft a menu that does not exceed five milligrams of THC throughout the entire meal. This is considered a low-dose, which is the key to a successful infused dinner experience. You don’t want to overdo it. Also, if you are cooking the infused food yourself and are working with THC, be sure that you know exact dosages so you don’t accidentally over serve someone. Cannabis chefs take their jobs very seriously. Learning to dose safely and responsibly is crucial if you’re planning to serve infused foods.

You also have to remember that after you or your guests consume something that contains THC or CBD, your body must digest it and metabolise it before effects set in. This can take anywhere from forty-five minutes up to two hours or more, so reminding your guests to be patient and to be aware of their own metabolism is key to any edible or infused cuisine experience. If they don’t feel anything right away, by all means, do not serve more. This is a rookie mistake that can easily be avoided - always remind your guests to be patient.

When preparing your menu or drink list, choose ingredients with complementing aromas and flavors

When you’re cooking with cannabis and hemp-based products, you’ll often notice there is a green taste that’s expressed in the infusion that you’re working with. That said, it’s best to use ingredients that compliment these notes. For example, gin is usually a great choice for THC or CBD cocktails because it presents botanical notes that blend well with cannabis and hemp terpene profiles. I also recommend using a variety of terpene-inspired fruits, herbs, and spices in cuisine or drinks, because these items work synergistically with herbal products.

Make sure your guests know what is what

For every dinner that I host, I make sure every guest has a menu that lists what cannabinoids are in the meal and what dosages will be served. I also send this information to my guests before the event, so there are no mishaps. If you’re featuring an infused food buffet or infused cocktail bar, be sure to label everything and have clearly marked signage! For more upscale events where there are a lot of guests, I recommend tray passing the infused cocktails or infused bites so your servers can relay the information to your guests and monitor consumption.

Start with THC and then serve other non-intoxicating cannabinoids

It’s best to start with low-dose THC-infused appetizers first and then showcase the other non-intoxicating compounds of cannabis, such as CBD or THCA, throughout the rest of your menu. That way effects kick in early and by the end of the meal, your guests are feeling rounded out by the other cannabinoids that they’ve consumed. There is an art to orchestrating the experience. Also, if you are planning to serve THC, be sure to check in with your guests to see what their dosage preferences are and serve them the amount that they feel comfortable with. That way everyone is feeling great!

If you’re planning to serve alcohol, do so in moderation and proceed with caution

If you serve wine, beer or cocktails with infused food, moderation is the key to a successful dining experience. Cannabis and alcohol are both powerful intoxicants. If you consume too much of either substance, you will not be feeling great, so it’s a balancing act that you must master before serving to larger crowds. For the dinners that I host, I think of wine as an accent piece that adds aromas, flavors, and complexity to the dining experience. I am not serving it to get people drunk. Use this same logic for your infused dinners.