How to Host a Cannabis-Infused Dinner Party
Holiday season, and it’s time to party! You still have time to plan a New Year’s Eve social event for friends of yours and the cannabis weed. A cannabis-infused dinner is a great opportunity to end one year and start another.
You should start with a holistic approach, preparing some defensive moves. For instance, you can set up rides home for those you expect to need them and for those you don’t know so well. If guests don’t have designated drivers, you can organize an Uber or Lyft caravan.
The invitation list —
A dinner party is not an open house or a chance for friends of friends to fill every corner of the room. It could be a buffet or sit-down dinner, but you should keep the numbers under control. As a rule of thumb, there should not be more guests than you can mingle with comfortably.
All the guests should know what to expect, so your invitation should be very clear. And, because the host is accountable, you want to invite guests whose tastes you know and respect. There are people charging big money to attend an all-out hash bash, but if your emphasis is on a dinner party, you need control from the start.
You might suggest guests bring their own cannabis, a potluck dish, or an appetizer or dessert. But this takes choices and pairings out of your hands. It also risks adding high-potency products to the menu. So, you should focus on a menu to please everyone from arrival to departure.
The party décor —
If you are planning a play-it-by-ear smoking circle after dinner, menu and décor are not the issues. Otherwise, you should plan casual, elegant, or somewhere in between. The chef’s selection should direct your approach. If the chef wants to provide a formal dinner, the décor goes one way; if the cook wants a barbecue or picnic selection, the decoration goes casual. So, let’s consider both.
Going formal —
A formal dinner calls for a printed menu, especially when the foods may be unusual. Each guest should know what the dishes are and what strains or potency they may include. A printed menu allows them to choose among entrees and side dishes.
Having a theme — cannabis-related or not — will decide colors and decorations, but less is more. A formal even elegant party does not mean overdoing things. And, the humor and good feelings might upset tableware, family crystal, and table candles.
A formal dinner requires some strategy — from greeting guests to sending them off. The advice is to avoid alcohol completely. It’s not a mix you want to encourage. You might start with mocktails and serve non-alcoholic wine at the table. However, if you want to feature cannabis-infused wine with the meal, the guests should know the content or have an option.
You and your guests should shoot for an average dose of 10 to 25 mg. So, menus should be planned and served with that in mind.
- A starting salad should include nutritious greens, fruits, nuts, and/or veggies. But you lift the flavor and experience with cannabis-infused salad dressings. You will find recipes online and find tasty dressings that start with cannabis-infused avocado, olive, or coconut oil. And, you can garnish with hemp seeds without worrying about dosing.
- In preparing entrees, the cook will use canna-oils and canna-butters, any of which may include the extraction of preferred strains. Citrusy strains will add flavor to seafood treatments, and smoky earthy strains could tweak a steak or roast. Strains with different tastes and aromas can perk up vegetable dishes. But the menu should strive for balance.
- You can plan desserts with cannabis-infused ingredients, but it’s also an opportunity to serve prepared edibles. With purchased edibles, you can be sure of the dosing.
This advice assumes guests are not smoking during dinner. Smoking is not appropriate at a formal dinner unless you have arranged the dinner around pairings of strains with dishes. Moreover, formal manners are likely to go downhill fast if you are serving sequential strains along with the food.
Going informal —
It may make more sense, save money, and enjoy things more comfortably if you choose an informal theme, setting, and décor. You could arrange a buffet for browsing among a variety of dishes — wings, burgers, pizzas, and much more. Again, each dish should be labeled with its ingredients and potency. You might arrange the items so guests can balance their THC and CBD intake. And, the rest of the table might be flush with munchy veggies, nachos, popcorns, and the like.
As host, you could move dishes around on the tables to interest dinners, add and remove dishes as the party proceeds, or separate dishes into separate areas for:
- salads and appetizers,
- meats, seafood, and vegetarian entrées, and
- desserts and edibles.
There could be an area for beverages. You might connect eating with an expert lecture on recipes, strains, and pairings. In a more casual setting, people can mix, mingle, and smoke at will, but a good host will watch, listen, and direct traffic.
A better idea yet —
A successful cannabis-infused dinner party is a lot of work, and it can be expensive. It just makes more sense to push yourself away from the table and leave the work to others. You could charge guests to underwrite some of the costs. You can reserve a room at a cannabis restaurant and let the chef work it into the restaurant’s plans — if you are located near such legal eateries. Or, you might hire a cannabis chef to cater your event. These options relieve you of much of the accountability, planning, and execution. Happy holidays!