As you may have guessed from the name, Dope Dinners serves up delicious THC-and-CBD-infused comfort food for cannabis-friendly private dinner parties throughout the Greater Boston region. We sat down with one of the co-founders, whose name we have left out of this upon request, to discuss his burgeoning catering company’s culinary style and their recent success on the cannabis scene.
Let’s start with the obligatory two-parter: When and where did you first smoke pot, and what got you into this line of work?
I grew up in the Caribbean so I’ve always been around cannabis, but the first time I smoked was when I was 16. I was at a friend’s house with a few other homies who were already smoking on a regular, so they got me pretty lit. When I was in college, I had really gotten into cooking with cannabis and it’s been like that ever since.
What’s your preferred old-school cannabis nomenclature and why?
Since you launched Dope Dinners, what’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about cannabis or cannabis consumers?
Older people want to relive their teenage years. We have done a few parties for the 60-plus crowd and they love it. I guess I’ve learned that cannabis can bridge all gaps and unify people!
Michael Pollan describes cannabis as a drug “for the betterment of well people.” Is that a sentiment you would agree with?
Definitely. We think cannabis is the healing of the nations. Free up the herbs.
Can you talk about different infusion techniques, and what is your favorite?
Our favorite techniques are infusions via sous vide. Low, slow, and accurate.
Are there certain cuisines that you think are better for infused cannabis than others?
We’ve been trying to push the limit and really make unique things, like different infused ferments. I think any cuisine can be infused, it’s really about cooking methods and preparation.
Have you done any infused multi-course dinners? All courses? Do you think you can have too many infused courses?
We specialize in low-dosed, multi-course meals. We always do a noninfused version of everything so that we can accommodate everyone at the table. And you can never have too many infused courses. We also use CBD in our mocktails to help balance the effects of the THC.
What’s the most noticeable difference between the vibe of a dinner where the wine is flowing freely and an infused dinner?
People are generally a bit more “messy” when alcohol is involved. Our infused dinners create a chill vibe. That’s why we say #EatWellChillHard.
What’s the best part about cooking for the holidays, and what’s your favorite holiday to infuse?
The best part about the holidays is cooking holiday classics. Thanksgiving is definitely the best holiday to infuse because of how many different dishes you can infuse. From the turkey to the pie, and everything in between.
What’s been the most challenging or scariest thing you’ve had to deal with as you’ve grown the business?
When clients cancel on us last minute, which is why we have implemented a 50% deposit which has helped resolve that problem.
We’ve seen articles like “How to Throw a Cannabis Infused Dinner Party” in the pages of VOGUE. What advice would you give to those readers who think they’re ready to cook with cannabis?
It’s much harder than you think, and it’s important to know the science behind infusions so you don’t create a negative experience for your guests.
Has anyone ever been too stoned at a dinner?
Not at our dinners. We do our best to guide our guest through the experience so that no one is uncomfortable and gets too stoned.
When do you think traditional catering powerhouses like Chef’s Table and Catered Affair will join the circle?
I don’t know, to be honest. I think I like the idea of a small niche private chef experience catering to those who really want something special.
How much does strain matter to you with infusions?
Strains definitely matter when we are infusing. We like to be as familiar with the flower as possible. Knowing the cannabinoid breakdown is super important so that we can maximize our infusions. We also use the flower for its terpenoids and build flavor off of those profiles.
Are all mocktails created equal? If you could rename the mocktail, what would you call it?
Mocktails are definitely not created equal. When it comes to doing our beverage pairings we take a craft cocktail approach and use fresh seasonal ingredients as well as different fruit tepache that we ferment ourselves. We call our mocktails “Healing Libations.”
What’s your preferred personal consumption method and marijuana varietal or strain?
We love smoking joints and blunts, and we really enjoy Sour Diesel and different Sour Diesel varietals.
What’s your cannabis forecast for 2020?
The stigma against consuming cannabis is dying, and we think that by the end of 2020 there will be a big push to at least move it off of the Schedule 1 list.