Podcast Club

Mental Health & the Cannabis Gender Gap with Just Between Us hosts Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin – New Podcast Club Episode!

Episode 127

Show Notes

How to Do the Pot Podcast Club: Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin, Just Between Us

Welcome to the very first episode of our new series called Podcast Club! Throughout this series we’ll be sitting down with some of our favorite podcast hosts, both within and outside of the cannabis industry. In this inaugural episode, we chat with Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin, comedians, best friends, and hosts of Just Between Us. Press play to hear us unpack the cannabis gender gap, weed’s role in improving mental health, and the lingering stigma surrounding consuming. Oh, and we also coin a new code word for secret smoke breaks. Hint: it’s stargazing. We hope you enjoy this new series!

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Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:00):

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

Gaby Dunn (00:06):

My friend Mike told me one time, he was like, “I want to give you a compliment, but it’s compliment my grandma uses.”

Gaby Dunn (00:11):

And I was like, “What is it?”

Gaby Dunn (00:12):

And he said that his grandma will call people, she’ll be like, “Ugh, they’re real goddammit.” And he was like, “That’s how I feel about you.”

Gaby Dunn (00:20):

I’ll be like, “Ugh, you know what Gaby? You’re a real goddammit.” I’m like, I don’t know what it means, but I know in my heart what it means.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:30):

Welcome to the first episode of our new series, the How To Do The Pot podcast club. I’m Ellen Scanlon.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:39):

Our podcast club is here to introduce you to the most interesting podcasters we know, some who love weed and some who don’t. Since this is our first episode, we’re experimenting a bit with the format and we’ll be talking to today’s guests, the hosts of the podcast, Just Between Us.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:58):

Gaby Dunn, who you just heard from, and Allison Raskin, about what inspired their podcasts, their favorite practical tips, how they feel about cannabis, and who they look to for creative inspiration.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (01:12):

So why have we started this new series? Well, I found most of my favorite podcasts have come from personal recommendations from friends. And in the podcast industry as a whole, people say that word of mouth is what really drives new listeners. So in the spirit of giving what we hope to receive, I’m so excited to introduce you to the host of some incredible podcasts that maybe you don’t know about yet.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (01:38):

And we’re always looking to learn about new shows, so please reach out if you want to put on our radar.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (01:48):

I first met Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin when they interviewed me on their podcast, Just Between Us. Gaby and Allison are both writers, New York Times bestselling authors, and podcasters. Allison is a mental health advocate, and Gaby is an icon and voice for the LGBTQ community.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (02:09):

Just Between Us is a comedic variety show that covers anything and everything. Nothing is off the table. Gaby Dunn tells us more about it.

Gaby Dunn (02:20):

It’s like heartfelt advice, ridiculous games, and brutal honesty. And so we interview people that we find interesting, that we find fascinating. We try to focus on a topic for them, so as to keep the conversation streamlined on their expertise. And then we answer our listener’s question up top. They’re never easy, they’re always intense conundrums.

Gaby Dunn (02:42):

And then we have a topic section at the end where we talk about out something relevant to us. And then Allison does a game show called Hypotheticals, which defies explanation.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (02:52):

Hypotheticals is, it’s like talking to your most creative friend about how you would respond to some unexpected relationship challenges, and then really, really digging into it. It’s really fun to play.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (03:11):

Along with being great interviewers. They are also warm, eloquent, and introspective people. And it’s such a pleasure to bring this conversation to you.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (03:21):

So how did Just Between Us begin? Gaby and Allison started an extremely successful YouTube channel in 2014, and made the switch to podcasting in 2019. They have a huge community of listeners, and hundreds of thousands of loyal fans. Allison explains how they created their show and its characters.

Gaby Dunn (03:44):

And so when we started the YouTube channel, it was really, it was a couch show where we talked to the audience, but we weren’t really ourselves. We were playing heightened versions of ourselves. And so it really started as a comedy channel.

Gaby Dunn (03:57):

And then I think as we grew, and as the channel grew, and as we grew up, it sort of became exhausting to be these characters. And so we started to be more and more ourselves. And then that was a really good time to transition to podcasts, where we could just fully be ourselves.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (04:15):

If you’re curious about the power of a podcast brand, check out how loyal their audience has been. Many since they were really young.

Gaby Dunn (04:24):

These kids are 18, 19, 20. And they were like, “Oh my God, I’ve been a fan of you guys since middle school. Oh my God. Tell Allison, I love her. I’m hysterically crying. You guys got me through middle school.”

Gaby Dunn (04:38):

I think it’s like they’ve grown a up with us. Now we’re in our early thirties, and a lot of our fans are also now going into, I think, early thirties.

Allison Raskin (04:51):

I think one thing that’s wonderful is that our audience is always pretty diverse, and also skews heavily female, which I think is really wonderful.

Allison Raskin (05:01):

And we did this book event for our last novel, and afterwards somebody was like, “Your fans are so nice.” I want to be friends with all of our fans. They’re such lovely, thoughtful people who I continuously learn from.

Allison Raskin (05:21):

We’ll get emails where it’s like, hey, you’ve been talking about this topic in a way that actually, I think, is less informed than it could be. And like gentle call ins. And I’ve learned things from my fans consistently throughout the years.

Allison Raskin (05:35):

And so, yeah, I just feel really lucky about the community that we’ve built.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (05:39):

I asked Allison and Gaby to share their favorite episodes of Just Between Us. I’ll link to them in the show notes, and Allison shares her favorite first.

Allison Raskin (05:49):

My mom came on somewhat early on.

Gaby Dunn (05:52):


Allison Raskin (05:53):

And she is not a public, sharey type of person at all. And so she was definitely doing this for me. And she talked about the experience of having a mentally ill four-year-old and onwards. And just the experience of me getting diagnosed with OCD, the experience of trying to find me the right help at a time when mental illness was way more stigmatized than it is now. And so that’s a really special episode for me, because I think we don’t honor children’s mental struggles enough.

Allison Raskin (06:29):

And so in addition to just being able to kind of hear things I’d never even heard before, just giving voice to the fact that as parents, you need to pay attention to what your kid is going through. And I feel like my mom did such a excellent job of articulating that. So that’s always been a really special one to me.

Gaby Dunn (06:45):

It was a really good episode. It was tear-jerker, for sure.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (06:48):

And now Gaby.

Gaby Dunn (06:50):

I enjoy the ones where it’s a very serious person, and then they come on and they play hypotheticals, and they’re so delighted. And they never get to do anything fun, so they’re very into hypotheticals. We’ve had family members on, other family members on.

Gaby Dunn (07:06):

In terms of my personal stuff, we had my aunt on. Who in 1985, her husband of nine months was diagnosed with HIV. My family has a long history of drug addiction. They were heroin users. And he was diagnosed with HIV.

Gaby Dunn (07:25):

These in-depth conversations with family members that you maybe wouldn’t have without the podcasting medium. And these people getting to tell their stories. My aunt is not going to be asked to be on a podcast. This is a story that we get the privilege of being able to give a platform to people that, their stories are hidden.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (07:47):

I love learning about how people’s relationship with cannabis changes over time. Allison talks about what’s evolved for her with weed.

Allison Raskin (07:55):

Yeah. I definitely used to just get it through friends, or through ex-boyfriends. And then the big transition was when I started to buy it for myself. And now my boyfriend knows nothing about weed, and I’m the expert. Which is a fun power dynamic for me to lean into.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (08:13):

Gaby’s memories of weed are tied up with gender too.

Gaby Dunn (08:17):

I think about, as a young per person who’s AFAB, my experiences were my boyfriends dealt with the dealers. I never had to buy anything. I roll up to the party, some dude has weed for me. I remember in college buying it for myself and feeling very feministly empowered. Being the person who, when you’re out with men and someone’s like, does anyone have weed? For you to be able to be like, I do.

Gaby Dunn (08:47):

Even having a lighter. As a woman at the time, being someone who, someone would go, does anyone have a lighter? And I had a lighter would feel feminist. My partner’s mom, who is also just a very suburban mom, and we were at their place and my partner was like, “Oh, do you want me to leave you the weed tea, mom?”

Gaby Dunn (09:09):

And I was like, me hiding in my friend’s backyard, trying to smoke weed and pretend we just wanted to finish the Oreos. And it wasn’t … We used to say star-gazing. We would say to my parents, oh, we’re going to go star gazing. And just coincidentally finish the lasagna. And now it’s like, oh, here mom. Here’s the weed tea.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (09:29):

I always want How To Do The Pot to be super practical. So I asked Allison and Gaby about the practical tips about anything that they share most with their friends and family.

Allison Raskin (09:39):

I think one of our favorite pieces of advice is to not be too precious with your work. That it can be really helpful to have multiple things going on at the same time, so that not everything is hanging in the balance of one project or one idea.

Allison Raskin (09:54):

I’m often just sort of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks and what to follow. And if this project doesn’t go now, maybe the success of the next one can let me revisit it. And not being tied up with, this is my one thing, and this thing better happen. And just being more open to all sorts of possibilities.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (10:15):

Gaby shares her advice about using a very powerful word.

Gaby Dunn (10:20):

One that we say a lot on JBU, or that I say a lot, is no is a complete sentence. Which is a little bit inspired by my friend, Brittany Nichols, who just says no. If you’re like, can I … I don’t want to is a fine response. And I think I’ve walked back over-explaining myself, which I think a lot of times female-socialized people are expected to do

Ellen Lee Scanlon (10:49):

On How To Do The Pot, we talk to a lot of women in the cannabis industry who are working hard to change negative stereotypes. But get Gaby and Allison don’t work in weed, and I’m curious about the cliches that come up for them.

Gaby Dunn (11:03):

Possibly the implication of laziness. My younger sister worked for the Lowell Cafe, worked for the cannabis cafe, reviews weed on her Instagram, is a weed connoisseur. And I am a person that’s very ambitious, and she less so. She just likes her job, wants to smoke weed, wants to do her job.

Gaby Dunn (11:25):

For a long time I was like, oh, the weed is the problem or whatever, it’s making her lazy. But as I’ve gotten more leftist, and socialist, and sort of anti-capitalist I’m like, who cares? If she’s happy, why have we decided … You know what I mean? Why? So she can just keep being like a productive, burnt-out cog in a machine? Who needs it.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (11:47):

Gaby doesn’t consume a lot of weed, but Allison does. And she shares something that I actually hear from a lot of women about cannabis.

Allison Raskin (11:57):

I think I have a complicated relationship to weed. Because it’s been incredibly beneficial to me, but I still feel like I shouldn’t have to need it. I think I get worried that I’m too dependent on it. But in reality, I only ever partake in it at night, and it has never once had a negative effect on my life.

Allison Raskin (12:17):

So the kind of deconstructing, why am I continuing to be afraid of it when there’s no actual repercussions from it, only benefits? I think the repercussions are, it’s never healthy to smoke anything. And so trying to cut down the smoking versus taking gummies.

Allison Raskin (12:37):

But yeah, it is a complicated relationship in my life. And that it has been so beneficial, but I still have stigma towards it. Whereas I’m like, I take it every night, is that bad? But I take my psychotropics every day and I don’t wonder if that’s bad.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (12:55):

If you’ve been placing any negative judgment on yourself, check out our episode called Stigma Sucks in the series Legalization 101 to hear how other women are handling complicated feelings about weed. That’s episode 111.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (13:11):

With limitations placed on all our lives during in the pandemic, I am super curious about how people are still cultivating creativity. Gaby was definitely a good person to ask this question because she has really done her research.

Gaby Dunn (13:28):

I also want to give a shout out to someone who I became obsessed with over the pandemic, and read three memoirs. Three memoirs by this person, which is Tina Turner. Because when I go hard, I go hard. And one memoir, not enough. And that is a person that was so beaten down, literally, physically emotionally, mentally, and was just at the top of her game. And I was so moved. It was just so co coincided with me being coming obsessed with her, that they inducted her into the rock and roll hall of fame without Ike, which is so overdue.

Gaby Dunn (14:07):

And also just the fact that she was forced to be tied to him in this way after he had like literally beat the shit of her for decades, that she finally got to be in the hall of fame without him. Which, if you read any of her memoirs, who even needs that guy? He was, who even cares?

Gaby Dunn (14:23):

And seeing the amount of men who spoke when he was inducted, who were just fully aware that this was an abuser, and were just totally fine with it. That’s a person who made art in adversity. And I think a lot of times white male artists will be like, I made art in adversity. And I’m like, did you?

Ellen Lee Scanlon (14:42):

I asked Allison who her favorite artist is today.

Allison Raskin (14:46):

Honestly, what popped into my head first was Taylor Swift. Because I just think that she’s had such a interesting career. She’s allowed herself to change. She’s allowed herself to evolve without pushing away her older stuff. She’s kind of been able to be like, this is all of me. We’ve been on this journey together. Which, as somebody who’s, the content I made when I was 25 is different than the content I make now, I really appreciate.

Allison Raskin (15:17):

I think it’s interesting that there’s also this thing of, it’s not cool to like her. In a way that, she gets so much flack for writing about her past relationships. Meanwhile, that’s what all writers have been doing for eternity.

Gaby Dunn (15:33):

Never, yeah.

Allison Raskin (15:33):

How dare you write this beautiful, incredible song that has spoken to millions of people, even though the relationship was only three months long? It’s like, okay, well, I’m sorry that you can’t write an incredible anthem off of a three-month relationship, but she was able to.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (15:49):

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit about Gaby and Allison. And definitely check out their podcast, Just Between Us, available wherever you listen. And you can follow them on Instagram at JBUPodcast.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (16:05):

This has been How To Do The Pot’s podcast club. If you would like to put a podcast on our radar, please reach out to hi@dothepot.com. That’s hi@dothepot.com.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (16:19):

We also give podcast recommendations in our newsletter, which comes out twice a month on Fridays. And for sneak peeks behind the scenes, you can follow us on socials @DoThePot. If you like How To Do The Pot, please rate and review us on Apple podcasts, it helps more people find the show.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (16:38):

Thank you to our producers, Madi Fair, and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon, and stay tuned for more of How To Do The Pot.


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