I'm looking to go to one of those fancy weed-tasting dinners like they show on VICE's "Bong Appetit" — is there a way to attend such events without being a cannabis celebrity?
— Culinary Cannabis Fan
There are a bunch of awesome cannabis dinner parties available to the public — so you're in luck! You just need to know where to look. Of course, the first thing you need to ensure is that you're in a location where cannabis is legal — either medically or recreationally. If you're in a state with only medical cannabis, you will need to have a MMJ card to attend these types of event. If you're in a state with recreational cannabis, there will still be an age restriction, so check first before making plans.
There are a lot of companies that put on these types of events, if you're willing to pay. In Colorado, there are many opportunities open to you. Mason Jar Event Group frequently hosts a variety of different cannabis culinary events open to the public including a seasonal pairing dinner party, yoga with a cannabis pairing and farm-to-table brunch, and more (these meals include goodie bags as well!).
There are also opportunities in Portland, OR to attend a cannabis culinary experience. Arcane Revelry is a pop up dinner series that infuses cannabis throughout their carefully curated meals in unique ways. Sign up at their site to learn more, including how to attend one of their upcoming events (which cost around $75).
In LA, PopCultivate hosts monthly cannabis dinner parties, with their upcoming July party weaving in a Midsummer Night's Dream theme. You can sign up on their website to become a member, which will alert you to upcoming dinners and ways to attend. Tickets for these events are around $100.
In addition, social media can actually be a great way to get in the know about dinners that are open to the public. Follow your favorite chefs on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and you never know what invites might open up to you. For instance, MERRY JANE favorite Jeff the 420 Chef is co-hosting the NorCal CannaCuisine Gala at the end of July. The location remains a secret until you purchase a ticket (which ranges from $175-$350), but this would be your chance to not only sample some of the most scrumptious edibles around, but also rub elbows with some movers and shakers in the cannabis scene.
In addition, start chatting with the budtenders at your local dispensary. They might have an in or even an invite to these types of events (particularly the ones that aren't promoted publicly). Sometimes dispensaries will even sponsor a cannabis culinary party, and it can be a good way to get your foot in the door.
The more you attend events like these that are open to the public, the more you'll have a chance to network with folks on the inside — the chefs, the cannabis growers, party organizers, etc. — and that can increase your chances of scoring an invite to the more coveted invite-only parties (like the Green Toque Supper Club in CO).
Good luck and good eating!