The magic of Danksgiving

Mellow out at the dinner table with low-dose comfort foods

“They’ll never (gobble) take me alive in this disguise!”

“They’ll never (gobble) take me alive in this disguise!”

illustration by maria ratinova

Keep up with Cheri Sicard at

Danksgiving blends the familiar smorgasbord we all enjoy—but with weed. It’s as magical as believing the wishbone aspirations you just made will really come true. In honor of the gluttony of holiday feasts (and the wonders of cannabis), SN&R explores what dishes are the best to elevate for a well-rounded Danksgiving experience that will soften social interactions in an otherwise stressful time of year.

Before dishing up a heaping pile of cannabis-infused mashed potatoes or reaching for that second slice of dank pumpkin pie, it’s important to note that cannabis processes in the body differently when it’s ingested as opposed to when it’s smoked, according to Danny Kress, dispensary manager and director of education at A Therapeutic Alternative.

“Your body will break things down in metabolites, and it’s absorbed that way,” Kress says. “The compound that THC breaks down into when you eat it can be about five times more psychoactive than the same dose used inhaling.”

To keep guests pleasantly lifted, but not so much that they slip into the dark realms of paranoia, Kress recommends his patients and clients start very low and very slow.

He also favors THC and CBD-based tinctures from Care by Design that come in low-to-high doses, with a dropper that makes it easy to control just how much cannabis is going into the Danksgiving spread. Still, it’s generally wise to stay between 2.5 milligrams and 5 milligrams for a true “low dose.”

“My recommendation would be starting with a little bit more THC to get that extra little enjoyment you might get from the food. Then, as you progress in the meal, increase the amount of CBD,” Kress says. “Now, while it might not increase the psychoactivity because CBD doesn’t do that, CBD does have its own effects. It’s calming. It’s mellowing. It can really be like a warm blanket at the end of the experience.”

The key to a successful Danksgiving is that it’s all about balance. Not every dish needs to be loaded like Tommy Chong. In fact, a majority of cannabis users would rather not taste the earthy terpenes in the dishes.

That’s the case for Cheri Sicard, a cannabis reform activist and cookbook author who teaches online cooking classes that highlight the culinary side of cannabis.

“I’m a foodie, so I want the food to taste good. For me, it depends on the recipe and what’s going to make the best dish from a quality and a flavor standpoint,” Sicard says. “I make butter, I make oil and I cook with hash and keef a lot. Pies use a lot of butter, so it’s natural to use butter in that recipe, but something else might work better with a medicated olive oil or if it doesn’t call for a lot of fat, then maybe a tincture or a concentrate would work.”

On her website,, Sicard shares her original recipes for injectable turkey marinades, individual pies and bacon-wrapped stuffed dates. She even provides a dosing calculator to help her followers dose appropriately, as no two people will have the same tolerance.

A few tips from the cannabis queen? Whenever possible, create recipes in individual ramekins to dose everything from green bean casseroles to cornbread stuffing appropriately. This also ensures that guests who don’t wish to partake aren’t going to get a hempy batch of sweet potatoes.

Another sound tip: When it’s time to make cannabis-infused butter or olive oil, Sicard suggests making it as strong as possible. No, it’s not that she wants to get people baked out of their gourds. It’s simply because if the infusion is stronger, then she can use less of it in the recipe; therefore, further masking the cannabis taste.

Also, when it comes to grinding weed before the infusion process—don’t—Sicard says just break up the flowers as if you were rolling a joint and toss it all in.

“We’re talking about Thanksgiving here. If you’re going to medicate dishes, my tip would be not to medicate every dish, and if you do, it should be done really lightly,” Sicard says. “On a social occasion like that, your job is not to put people to sleep, it’s to facilitate social interaction. You need to customize your cooking to the occasion.”