It’s one thing to spend an intimate weekend with thousands of fellow stoners in a field out on the New York or New Hampshire border, or to attend a lecture in Boston with cannabis attorneys and state officials who work on the issue. That stuff can be interesting, or even educational and kind of fun in a completely nerdy business sense, but none of the experiences above capture the very soul of grass in Mass quite like an installment of Interpretasting, a nomadic, catered dab fiesta that last touched down at the Summit Lounge in Worcester this past weekend. Hosted by event designer Bailey Jonson and renowned extract auteur Bobby Nuggz, it was a unique low-key middlebrow gathering for the head, gut, and soul, or as Nuggz calls it, a “craft cannabis tasting party with an emphasis on the craft.”
“The experience is more about smoking cannabis to consume it while eating non-infused foods,” says Jonson, whose background is in cannabis as well as wine, having organized tastings. In forging the idea for Interpretasting, she led her team down a different route than many of the chefs who offer infused spreads and multicourse meals. Instead, Interpretasting (spelled “inTERPretasting” in its marketing materials, a focus on sophisticated smells and tastes of the choice terpenes Nuggz is known for) invites chefs to showcase undosed delicacies. Some collaborators, like pastry chef Crissy Dee of Wicked Good Edibles, had the medicated treats they’re known for on hand, but first and foremost passed out virgin goodies, which in Dee’s case included outrageously delicious mini banoffee pies.
“Why would you have such delicious foods that you can only have a tiny bit of?” Jonson says. “The average person can’t tolerate cannabis past like 50 mg. For me, it is about the food more than the infusion. You can always take a cookie home with you—that’s why we give everybody munch boxes.”
An internationally known terp interpreter, Nuggz has judged more than 40 cannabis cups, plus grows his own trees and produces small batch extracts as well. At the Summit Lounge for this Interpretasting, his team set up flights with four jars of flower—strains including Raspberry Jelly and Milk and Cookies—plus some Galactic Punch extract to dab for desert. “This stuff is single-source and it screams mom-and-pop,” Nuggz says. “You don’t have to go outside [of your grow] for the extractions. The percentage of people who are doing this kind of all in-house stuff is small.”
While Interpretasting was about as positive of an experience as a dab hound like me can imagine—Nuggz and Jonson even donate a portion of proceeds to Parents 4 Pot, which helps the families of people captured in the war on drugs—and is certainly something that every head in the region should catch at some point or another, I wouldn’t recommend it to a rookie. While I’m sure the crew would bend over backwards to ensure your safety and comfort, and despite the impressive dose-less smorgasbord, there’s just too much spectacular cannabis circulating the room for a neo to handle. It would be like sending someone who takes in a Red Sox game or two every season to a Spring Break fantasy camp. They appreciate a couple of exciting innings, sure, but they’re not exactly interested in applying retrospective sabermetrical analysis to pre-digital rosters. Substitute balls, bases, and bunts for bongs, bowls, and blunts, and you’ll begin to understand what kind of inside baseball game Interpretasting is, and why it’s not for all skill levels.
At the same time, anybody who is into extracts at all needs to hit one of these events. The same goes for flower aficionados of all kinds, as there are few other soirees where you will find such stellar selection along with some of the growers behind the kind.
“We try to make it the full package,” Jonson says. “In order to do that, we need everyone—the artists, the chefs, the glass shops, and everyone else.
“People really come together to make this happen.”
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.