How to Throw a CBD Dinner Party

CBD is a trend sweeping the markets, but you can take things up a notch by bringing it into your home for a unique (and very relaxing) dinner party! Chef Travis Peterson opens up about how to make the experience magical.
The Nomad Cook
Travis Petersen, a MasterChef participant, took insights from his culinary journey to create THE NOMAD COOK - a culinary brand that offers unique dining experiences through cannabis-infused creations.

The landscape around THC and CBD has been fast-changing and has officially crossed the threshold into our daily lives, becoming an increasingly incorporated element in cooking, eating and exercise. Long gone are the days of edibles consisting strictly of “pot brownies” made by that friend of a friend, and here to stay are Chefs like Travis Petersen , who are paving the path around cannabis as an addition to meals. As a chef for private cannabis dining experiences, Petersen served up some insight into how you can host a cannabis-infused dinner party at home.

Photo credit: Travis Petersen

What’s the best way to describe the CBD infused dining experience for your dinner guests?

It’s important to communicate both what CBD is and expectations around how the guest should expect to feel from its effects. CBD is the perfect entry-level infused dining experience because CBD does not get you "high," and has no psychoactive effects. The effects of CBD often present as feelings of rejuvenation and/or a state of relaxation. I have witnessed time and time again strangers become more relaxed and open at the dinner table while bonding over their infused dining experience.

In terms of taste, the amount of cannabis flavor a diner will experience really depends on the infusion method. If using an isolate like a tincture (a liquid form of CBD), it will likely be flavorless and odorless. However, a full spectrum infusion (which contains all cannabinoids found in cannabis) will likely contribute an earthy flavor.

Who should attend a CBD dinner?

CBD dining is a great experience for anyone over the age of 21, and it should be noted that CBD is not recommended for pregnant women or children. I find that for someone who is unsure or might have preconceptions about cannabis, one of the best ways to introduce them to CBD is through an infused meal.

Photo credit: Travis Petersen

How do you recommend menu planning?

When I'm building a menu, I look first at the terpene profile of the strain of cannabis I'm working with. Terpenes can be found in most plants and food, not just cannabis, and are scientifically related to giving these plants and food aroma. Terpenes can impact the effect of CBD on the body, so when I go to plan a menu, I want to construct a dish that best represents the ingredient I’m trying to highlight, and one that doesn’t negatively impact the effect of the CBD on the body.

Superfoods, like turmeric and ginger, provide the best vessel for CBD recipes, because they have so many health benefits for the body. With CBD, we cannot yet claim any medicinal benefits, but these superfoods have indisputable benefits for the body. By combining them together, we are building a dish that is going to rejuvenate the body and calm the soul. One memorable infusion I created was cucumber pearls that had 1mg of CBD per pearl, which were garnished on top of cream cheese and salmon chicharron. My intention was to find a creative way to incorporate a flavor that balances the dish while still captivating the imagination of the person eating the food.

A great dish I suggest for first time CBD home cooks is my Portobello Mushroom with CBD Nicoise Dressing recipe. The CBD is in the Nicoise Dressing and is a perfect match for this dish because of all the beautiful fresh vegetables being used. Using an already CBD-infused olive oil will allow you to keep your dosage low and help with an easy entry into making infusions at home.

Do you recommend serving alcohol with CBD recipes?

I recommend keeping CBD dinners alcohol-free. Most guests I host are coming into infused dining for the first time, and as such I want them to focus on the main infusion: CBD. I suggest beverage pairings of Kombucha, Teas (hot and chilled,) fresh-pressed juice, and mocktails.

What form of CBD is best to cook with?

One of the easiest ways to add CBD to food is in a water-soluble form that is most easily integrated into soup broths. You can purchase CBD at your local legal cannabis dispensaries or through online channels. Other edible forms of CBD include butter, oil, rendered fat, salt, sugar, and tincture.

What are general tips and precautions for cooking with CBD?

First, know where your CBD is coming from and that it has been lab-tested. With the sudden rise in popularity of CBD, the market has been flooded with a wide range of products. Do your research and look into who's manufacturing it and where it's coming from. Second, when cooking, you have to know your math. Never before has the chef held so much responsibility with one ingredient. The importance of accurate dosing is imperative to infused dining becoming a mainstay in the culinary world. The chef must be 100% confident in each dish that is served to his or her guests and the confidence will come from putting in the work to accurately dose. I recommend starting out with a 5mg dosage per serving to begin.

What do you suggest for creating a great atmosphere for a CBD dinner?

At Nomad Cook events, we have live music playing at every dinner, so I definitely recommend creating a playlist to set the mood. Additionally, I always suggest seating people next to someone they don’t know yet. This helps promote fresh conversations, other than the routine discussions you may have with your partner, friends, or family.

If you’re hoping to create your own CBD dining experience, it’s important to conduct your own research both on where your CBD is coming from and how to calculate dosage per serving. Your local cannabis dispensary can also offer you more information as you consider consuming CBD in an edible form. For CBD recipes to try for your next dinner party, take a look at these step-by-step recipes on the SideChef app:

EASYSUMMER
Refreshing CBD Rosemary Lemonade Spritz
Verte Essentials

Combining CBD with rosemary and lemon is a great way to achieve complementary terpene combinations for a mood-elevating energizing punch.

WEEKNIGHT DINNERSENTERTAINING
Portobello Mushroom with CBD Nicoise Dressing
The Nomad Cook

Grilled portobello mushroom steak served with cannabis-infused Nicoise dressing.

GLUTEN-FREESUGAR-FREE
Ginger Peanut CBD Noodles with Crunchy Vegetables and Fresh Herbs
Madison Papp

This Ginger Peanut CBD Noodles with Crunchy Vegetables and Fresh Herbs is loaded with so much flavor and is amazing for an easy meal!

SPRINGBAKING
Marble Swiss Cheesecake CBD Brownies
Cannacademy

This medicated brownie combines the best of both worlds--rich creamy cheesecake and deep dark fudgy brownies. This dosage will give you 5 mg CBD per brownie, adjust according to individual needs.

Travis Petersen, a MasterChef participant, took insights from his culinary journey to create THE NOMAD COOK - a culinary brand that offers unique dining experiences through cannabis-infused creations.
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