We’ve all heard of the Thanksgiving twist known as “Friendsgiving.” Still, there’s another turkey day tradition that gains in popularity with each passing law on the way to fully legalized cannabis. It’s called “Danksgiving,” and it’s an even better way to avoid the tension-filled trimmings of the obligatory family gathering.
Thanksgiving centers mainly around food, football, and finding a spot on the floor to pass out. For these reasons, it’s almost the perfect holiday. There are no stressful treks to the mall to buy expensive gifts for picky family members and no awkward office parties to attend or Zoom “happy hours” to join. There is, however, a house full of relatives and quasi-relatives to cater to—all very hungry and intent on dredging up long-buried family drama.
Danksgiving infuses cannabis into the festivities, gently laying down a soft foundation of mellow vibes while connecting guests with an air of like-minded civility. Also, it tastes good.
A stoner Thanksgiving features cannabis-infused recipes far more impressive than “special brownies.” When cooked with care, batches of homemade edibles made explicitly for the biggest eating day of the year rival even the most decadent holiday feast.
Although this meal is conducive to relaxation, there’s still a measure of preparation that needs to take place. After all, this is Thanksgiving we’re talking about.
How Cannabis Helps With Family
We all have our reasons for consuming cannabis. Some look to the plant for recreational fun, while others seek medicinal benefits or a combination of the two. Whether you’re consuming for recreational or medicinal means, cannabis is the best way to smoke out the stresses of everyday life.
For many of us, Thanksgiving with the extended family (or immediate family) can be as stressful a day as any other on the calendar. So whether you’ve got hosting duties to worry about or you’re traveling to a family member’s house for the feast, there’s no better day to blaze up than Thanksgiving day.
Strains To Help Your Thanksgiving Appetite
Along with softening the blow of stress, cannabis can make any meal an epic event. So to help celebrate turkey day, we rounded up some of our favorite munchie-inducing cannabis strains. Known for revving up anyone’s appetite, these strains ensure an incredible Thanksgiving meal, no matter who’s serving it or how much emotional baggage they’re slinging with the food.
- Blue Dream
A reliable sativa strain, Blue Dream boasts 2 percent CBD content with a THC level hovering around 20 percent. It shines through with an ultra chill euphoric high that won’t weigh you down or put you into couch-lock mode like a heavier indica strain.
- Vader OG
Billed as a hybrid, Vader OG leans heavily toward indica, making it an excellent strain to light up right before it’s time to eat. With 22 percent THC, you’ll immediately experience the munchies with a side of pleasant sleepiness after the meal.
- Skywalker OG
Like father, like son (spoiler alert), much like Vader, Skywalker OG delivers with a powerful lightsaber swing of at least 20 percent THC. What’s more, its strong earthy aroma and blueberry notes are just as delicious as the actual holiday spread.
- Banana OG
Here’s where things get a tad indulgent. Banana OG splits your mind with nearly 30 percent THC, making the journey from the dining table to the couch an adventure in and of itself.
- Girl Scout Cookies
An indica-dominant hybrid strain, Girl Scout Cookies combines the pleasures of OG Kush and Durban Poison, with a THC level hovering around 20 percent. Girl Scout Cookies is a seasoned pro at helping your body create more hunger hormones.
A close inspection of Candyland reveals sugar-like trichomes coating the remarkably colorful buds. This enhances the sativa-dominant strain with tasty visuals to compliment the 19 percent THC level. The candy man can, indeed.
- Purple Kush
A more mild THC level of 16 percent, Purple Kush is a pure indica strain and a good option for anyone who wants a light nudge toward being stoned. An ultra-relaxing strain, Purple Kush demands rest immediately following the food!
- White Fire OG
Notching 22 percent THC on average, White Fire lightens things up with an energetic, cerebral high. A hybrid strain, it interacts swimmingly with your endocannabinoid system, increasing appetite without slowing you down.
- Jack Herer
Like White Fire but with less THC (17 percent), Jack Herer is a sativa-dominant, Haze hybrid crossed with Northern Lights (#5). Jack Herer is ideal for early dinners associated with Thanksgiving day because it offers a beautiful “day-time” high.
- Pineapple Express
Perfect for an all-day buzz where food is always available in large quantities, Pineapple Express is a world-renowned hybrid (thanks, Seth Rogen). With a THC level at 17 percent, Pineapple Express kickstarts the appetite with fruity-fresh aromas.
You can’t change your family, but you can change your perception of them and the stress they might add to your life. The “chill stoner” stereotype is famous for a reason, as cannabis can alleviate holiday-induced stress. One study found that, on average, cannabis consumers experience close to 60 percent less anxiety after partaking in a pot session.
So rip that bong before your aunt and uncle show up, discreetly pull from your vape pen when any hostility bubbles to the surface, or celebrate Thanksgiving the right way by infusing marijuana directly into your holiday meal!
Let’s set the table with the basics of Danksgiving Day manners. You can’t load the table with surprise edibles for an unannounced weed Thanksgiving, blindsiding guests who expect the typical turkey day fare. Your guest list likely features cannabis-friendly folks, but it’s straight-up polite to remind everyone that lots of food with weed recipes will make the rounds.
It’s also a good idea to diversify your pot recipes. Balance your meal with a diverse selection of cannabinoids—perhaps some dishes prepared with CBD-dominant strains, to strike a balance with more heady THC-dominant dishes.
And finally, be a responsible host! Organize transportation, so everyone arrives safely and makes it home in one piece. Or make sure there’s plenty of floor space for sprawled-out guests.
Let’s Get Cooking With Cannabis
As you probably know, cooking with weed is a bit more complicated than stuffing a bird with juicy buds or sprinkling milled herb atop your mashed potatoes. For the weed to hit with the desired effect, infuse the food with the magic of cannabutter. The special ingredient that makes cannabis edibles possible, cooking cannabutter, is the prelude to a truly eye-opening Danksgiving.
Cannabis-infused butter is the simplest and most delicious way to make edibles. Prepare food with a psychoactive element or sedative effect with various measures of cannabutter in the recipe. Just about any fat (olive oil, coconut oil, etc.) can be infused with weed, but cannabutter presents the perfect complement to the flavors of a stoner Thanksgiving.
First, gather all of your tools for decarboxylation, the process of converting THCA to THC (as well as CBDA to CBD) using heat and time. Then, set up everything you need to make the actual infused butter.
Tools For Decarboxylation:
- 3-5 grams of cannabis
- Parchment-lined baking sheet
- Wooden spoon
- Flower Mill
Directions For Decarboxylation:
- Preheat oven to 245-degrees F
- Break up the flower into small pieces resembling tiny broccoli florets
- Place cannabis buds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and put them in the oven for 30-40 minutes (low and slow better preserves the cannabinoids)
- Gently shake the tray every 10 minutes to expose more bud surface area
- Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature
- Mill the decarboxylated, cooled flowers to a medium-coarse
Tools For Making Cannabutter:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- Decarbed cannabis
- Small saucepan
- 1 cup water
- Food strainer or cheesecloth
- Food-safe container
Directions For MakingCannabutter:
- Add 1 cup water and 1 cup butter to a saucepan. Simmer on low to gently melt the butter—the more gentle, the better; burned butter results in bitter cannabutter. The water helps regulate the temp and keeps the butter from scorching.
- Once the butter is melted, add the coarsely ground, decarbed cannabis.
- Maintain a LOW heat (do not exceed 200-degrees F. Find a food thermometer if you must). The pot/butter/water mixture should NEVER come to a full boil.
- Let simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Keep a close eye on it.
- Once cooled, strain the cannabutter. Line a food strainer with cheesecloth and place the colander over a food-safe container. Pour the mixture over the cheesecloth slowly into the container.
- Refrigerate cannabutter.
Remember to increase the cannabis and butter in the recipe if you need a massive batch of cannabutter.
Now it’s time to plan your Danksgiving extravaganza!
Best Cannabis-Infused Recipes For Thanksgiving
From the main course to side dishes and dessert, here are four of our favorite ways to infuse a little cannabis into the Thanksgiving day feast.
The best part about turkey—the centerpiece of the traditional Thanksgiving meal—is that the best recipes feature lots of butter. When making a cannabis-infused version, follow your favorite roast turkey recipe, and replace all (or most) of the butter in the recipe with your pre-prepared cannabutter. Check out this recipe by home-kitchen queen Ina Garten.
Creamy Cannabis Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic
1 head garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 pounds potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons cannabutter
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
- Roast garlic ahead of time by preheating your oven to 400-degrees F. Place the garlic head—skin and all—into the oven on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, cover with tin foil, and bake for 25-40 minutes, depending on the size of the garlic head. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Peel potatoes and cut them into chunks.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain potatoes in a colander and add to a large bowl.
- Squeeze garlic out of the cooled head directly into the potatoes along with the cannabutter, salt, pepper, sour cream, and chives.
- Using an electric mixer or potato masher, pulverize your potatoes to the perfect creamy consistency—season to taste with more salt and pepper.
1 lb. bread cut into 1-inch cubes
¾ cup cannabutter
¼ cup unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 ½ cups chopped celery
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme (sticks discarded)
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
2 large eggs
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- Place bread cubes in a large bowl and let them dry out on the counter, covered for 1 or 2 days. If you don’t have days to spare, toast the cubes in a single layer in your oven at 250-degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Once the bread is sufficiently dried, preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
- In a large skillet, melt the cannabutter and unsalted butter, and add onion and celery. Saute until the veggies are soft.
- Pour the butter and veggies mixture into the bowl with the bread cubes. Add the parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper, and stir thoroughly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Then, add the chicken broth to the whisked eggs and whisk some more. Finally, pour that mixture over the bread cubes and mix it all together.
- Pour into a baking dish that’s been coated with non-stick spray.
- Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the middle is completely set.
Perfect Pot-Infused Pumpkin Pie
15 oz. can pumpkin puree
¾ cup brown sugar packed
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ cup half-and-half
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ cup cannabutter (melted)
⅛ cup unsalted butter (melted)
1 unbaked pie crust recipe
Whipped cream (optional, but is it really?)
- Preheat the oven to 425-degrees F.
- Mix pumpkin puree, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice until well blended in a medium mixing bowl.
- Pour half-and-half into a separate bowl, add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well mixed.
- Add the two mixtures together to combine. Pour in melted butter and stir until combined.
- Pour the combined ingredients into an unbaked pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350-degrees F and bake for 30 minutes or until set in the center.
- Allow cooling. Top each slice with whipped cream and enjoy!