We were in Toronto last week for a very special occasion. Friends of Miss Grass were launching their brand new cannabis dinner series called dirt and they asked MG to host the first one. And so, a flight we boarded in sunny LA and away we went to snowy Toronto—the land of soon-to-be-legal cannabis and the Jeff-Sessions-less land of opportunity. According to founder Sarah Best, dirt is about creating an environment that is equal parts playful and safe so that curious people—whether seasoned consumers or first-timers—can experiment freely. For this inaugural dinner, dirt partnered with Tonya Papanikolov, the holistic nutritionist and chef behind The Well Woman, and Michelle Rabin, the culinary producer of Viceland's "It's Suppertime" to advise on dosing. And let me just say, the bar has been raised for infused cannabis dinners everywhere. (That's coming from someone who goes to at least one a week.) There was no mistaking the art, culture and social cachet of the night. But there was also something unmistakably wellness-y at the heart of it all, which might be normal in California, but is something of a rarity in Toronto. "The idea is to have a good meal, a good time and a good day after. It's an alternative to a boozy night out where you feel miserable the next day." For anyone who's been to an infused dinner, you know that it can be a bit of a gamble. A lot of so-called cannabis chefs might be great at cooking, but aren't equipped to dose a meal en masse. And that can go one of two ways. The preferred way would have everyone leaving the dinner wondering if there was any cannabis in the food at all. But the other, has the entire party faded beyond for days to come. The results for this very first dirt dinner were something only a pair of bonafide pros could have engineered. Everyone was happy. Even the dog.
(This is the shroom soup with medicinal lion's mane + cannabis-infused pumpkin seed oil.)After the shroom soup, it was herbed heirloom carrots with shallots and grapefruit glaze. Then it was a sesame seaweed salad, spicy tumeric sweet potatoes, and beet ravioli with cashew cream puree. And finally, out came a sunflower kale caesar salad, coconut cauliflower fritters, and an adaptogenic cashew cheesecake with a dandelion espresso tonic. And if the beautifully healthy, gluten free, vegan and mostly raw meal of this first dinner weren’t enough, the exquisite space was home to a real sarcophagus, a wooly mammoth tooth and a very big and scary lizard.
(That's the Mummy right there!)"In the end, I want dirt to bring people out and into the world with cannabis," says Sarah. "We're not the first cannabis dinner, by any means, but we are trying to have a slightly different take on the tradition of cooking with the mother plant."
(This is Sarah, holding her perfect menu.)"It's about leaving the confines of your home and letting your hair down with other nice people—and doing that without poisoning your body along the way."
(This is Chef Tonya telling us about the food.)Thanks to the brands who made this night delicious and possible: Omni Botanicals for the infused coconut oil, Cap Beauty and Apothecanna for The Daily Hit, Alair Vaporizers and Awmoo Bongs for the vessels, Greenhouse Juice Co. for the probiotics, Timberlost for the flowers (plural), and 1066 for the flower (singular). Photography by the inimitable Aaron Wynia. Follow @dirrrrrrt to stay up on their next dinner.