A Culinary Cannabis Guide for the Holidays with Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey

Episode 219

Show Notes

Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey

 In today’s episode, we’re joined by Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey, a cannabis creative consultant, chef, and author of “The Art of Weed Butter.”  If you’re thinking of adding a cannabis twist to your holiday cooking, Mennlay’s got you covered with tips on dosing, managing unexpected highs, and her favorite infused recipes. 

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Ellen Scanlon (00:00):

This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.


Support for How To Do The Pot comes from CANN. CANN is a social tonic, drinkable, delicious cannabis that’s as bubbly, refreshing, and sociable as your favorite cocktail. But hold the booze. Use promo code DOTHEPOT for 20% off when you visit drinkcann.com. That’s drink C-A-N-N. Try a Cann today and have a happy holiday without the hangover.

Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey (00:46):

I love to cook when I’m high and I think for some people that can be dangerous and so we have to really give ourselves some safeguards, but I think it does lend to being more creative in the kitchen and really leaning in with your senses rather than I’m going to make this exact thing.

Ellen Scanlon (01:04):

Welcome to How To Do The Pot, a podcast helping you feel confident about cannabis. I’m your host, Ellen Scanlon.


You just heard from Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey, 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 US 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 weed memories involve a secret cousin’s 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, Mennlay 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.


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 Manley how the conversations about cannabis have changed with her family.

Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey (03:18):

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 have this money to do this, but also how is she also bringing this cannabis with her for us to 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 three vape pens and that oftentimes when I go home a family member is the plug, I’m overjoyed by this expansion and this elasticity of what it means to be a consumer and to, again, celebrate and enjoy this plant with your family and with your community, 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, 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 Scanlon (04:58):

I hope that 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 Golokeh Aggrey (05:12):

It’s really important to have your measurements on lock. That is a number one super important. And while most times cooking is intuitive for beginners and for people who can consider themselves chefs alike, that intuitive nature unfortunately is a little bit more restricted when it comes to cannabis. 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 the percentage of the cannabis strain that you’re using, what type of fat you want to use. Just measuring and 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. 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 Scanlon (06:05):

I am not the most confident cook, so I asked Mennlay what she thinks is the hardest part of cooking with weed.

Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey (06:14):

I think the hardest part is that weed 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 the hardest part, which is why going back to really being super strict with yourself about writing down 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 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 Scanlon (07:03):

And what does she think is the easiest part?

Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey (07:06):

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 help you if things go awry. And so in that way, I think that is easy and enjoyable.

Ellen Scanlon (07:36):

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 Golokeh Aggrey (07:52):

The question 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 “cold infusion”, room temperature infusion, something that almost is a little bit more like canning in a sense where you put together those ingredients, set it aside for a month, check back in on it and then have that end result after 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 a silent aid or helper in a sense where you’re not going to maybe feel as high, but you’re going to have a lot of the THCA present, CBD, CBDA and also really having that terpene flavor profile present and a little bit more integral in that mixture itself.

Ellen Scanlon (09:02):

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Have you been wanting to try making edibles that aren’t sure where to start or maybe you love to experiment in the kitchen, but you could use some inspiration? Join Marge from Bite Me, the show about edibles as she helps cooks make great edibles at home. In each episode, she walks listeners through a cannabis edibles recipe that she’s tested in her own kitchen and offers tips and tricks so that you can do the same. Learn alongside Marge as she interviews professional chefs, culinary cannabis experts and edible enthusiasts.


Whether you’re seasoned or just getting into edibles, there’s always more to learn about making them at home. Tune in for fun and informative episodes every Thursday on your favorite podcasting app or at bitemepodcast.com.


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 Golokeh Aggrey (10:47):

I think the biggest tip, and that could be plural, is what to do when you get too high because that’s something that for many of us, we figure out too late in the game, and when you’re cooking with cannabis and you’re testing out dosaging yourself and maybe with other people, you want to have those secret weapons so to speak on the sidelines so that you can quickly adjust and get back to 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, and that can be anything from taking a cold shower to taking a nap, to taking CBD to really in a way block out the THC from your receptors and just allow the CBD to regulate and get you back to normal.

Ellen Scanlon (11:39):

This is one of my favorite tips too. Put some CBD oil tincture under your tongue. Hold it for 30 seconds 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 Golokeh Aggrey (12:03):

Now, I think a lot of strains tend to have over 10% THC. What is really beautiful about going to dispensaries and buying 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 one-to-one, maybe it has more CBG or CBD present. I think that allows you automatically to know that it’s going to be a lower dose.

Ellen Scanlon (12:31):

This question comes up a lot. If you have a favorite strain, does it make sense to use it for your infusion?

Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey (12:39):

As far as strain pairing, I tend to lean more towards the effects rather than the flavor profile. A lot of the terpene profile can be cooked out unless you’re doing 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 maybe one of your trusted places on the internet, and that really helps us understand the percentage of cannabinoids present in the cannabis strain, what those effects might be, and how that translates into what you want to cook and how you want to experience it.

Ellen Scanlon (13:23):

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 Golokeh Aggrey (13:56):

It felt gimmicky, if I’m honest, to focus specifically on edibles or food that’s going to get you so high and whatever. That felt for me a lot of the conversations surrounding edibles, and so when writing the cookbook, I started to understand and recognize this passion I had when it came to exploring cannabis and food ways even through this lens of our diasporas, whether that be African, whether that be Latin American, whether that be Middle Eastern, wherever that diaspora is. I think food and herbs and cannabis even really helped to dissect and help you explore what that looks like. And so there’s a chicawa black bean and rice recipe that I really like and it’s very simple. It’s not highbrow at all. That was another thing about the cookbook that I was really struggling with.


I’m like, okay, there’s a very specific white gaze when it comes to culinary arts and when it comes to what a plate should look like and platting and et cetera, 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 being West African. Those at first felt 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 move and shape and become a modern diaspora in the ways of food.

Ellen Scanlon (15:39):

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 favorite munchies.

Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey (16:21):

I am a sucker for a cucumber salad of any kind, and I think why I love it so much when I have munchies is because it’s crunchy. I usually like it spicy with garlic, and it’s such a cooling vegetable and type of salad to eat, and so it has these components of helping you restore and get the most out of your high, if you will, while also having a munchie at the same time. It’s just really fresh and refreshing. My other thing that isn’t necessarily a meal is soda water, and I just love drinking soda water, agua mineral, what we call it here in Mexico, and also just I don’t know that element of bubbly. I like the sensations of things that I’m eating when I’m high. I love to cook also when I’m high, and I think for some people that can be dangerous, and so we have to really give ourselves some safeguards, but I think it does lend to being more creative in the kitchen and really leaning in with your senses rather than, I’m going to make this exact thing.

Ellen Scanlon (17:34):

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Mennlay loves to experiment with cannabis cocktails at home, and she has some tips for making them.

Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey (18:31):

When there’s alcohol involved for me, I tend to go with CBG, 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 a two to five 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 cross fading for the first time and they want to enjoy both of those buzzes, but not in an overwhelming way.


So to the actual cocktails, I am really obsessed with cucumber, anything green, and so I tend to always go for some green mescal 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 food ways that are expressive and really good for you while also having a little retox of whatever alcohol you’re adding into it.

Ellen Scanlon (19:46):

Legal cannabis and more social acceptance of weed might just change the holidays for you and your family. Mennlay believes that cannabis has helped to bring her family together.

Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey (19:59):

It plays a role in the way that I think a lot of us also have it play a role where I think it’s the way to be a little bit more calm and tolerate all of the chaos that is family and also bring those together 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 really having that discussion surrounding what it means because that has been by far my favorite part about the holidays, just really being able to check in and have that conversation piece be surrounding it, cannabis, but also the larger dialogue of family and who we are and what we all choose to do together.

Ellen Scanlon (20:53):

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 Golokeh Aggrey (21:04):

She’s my great aunt. She is now in her eighties and is a woman born in Liberia, grew up a little bit 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 come up just with getting older and being on this earth a lot longer.


Nd for the longest time, I always, always, always would just 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 be anti.


But it wasn’t until the cookbook came out and some of her friends were starting to talk amongst theirselves about, oh, Roger’s taking CBD now for his back pain and he feels so good, and they were just hyping it up. They’re just this very sweet senior group that are 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? My friend was talking about her husband and how they’re using it, and I’m just offended that you did it. Tell me about this and 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 accepting and allowing these natural treatments of care. It’s caring for your body and having those community of friends that are willing to explore that with you has just been such a game changer. 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 at the side table when you’re getting your plate. It’s so refreshing and I think it’s the one thing that gives me hope, right for the future of this space.

Ellen Scanlon (23:38):

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 like 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 Pot’s newsletter? If you’re not getting it, please sign up at dothepot.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 Fair and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon, and stay tuned for more of How to Do the Pot.



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