The Daily Dope

SXSW
The Sex and Cannabis Panel Dives Into Austin Cuisine
By: Ashley Manta

SXSW: The Sex and Cannabis Panel Dives Into Austin Cuisine

Pro tip: whenever possible, let a professional chef choose where you’re going to eat. We ate chicken fried steak slathered in creamy gravy, topped with tart cranberry habanero jam, served on a potato pancake donut. It’s called The Dirty South. Welcome to Gourdough’s Downtown in Austin, Texas at SXSW 2017.

The day started as so many travel days do—way too early, and with a trip to the airport. Molly Peckler, my dear friend and the owner of Highly Devoted Coaching, offered to let me stay at her beautiful place in Venice, as we were traveling together for SXSW. Molly, along with Brittany Confer from Foria and Chris Sayegh, The Herbal Chef, are scheduled to be on a panel I’m moderating on the surprising health and sex benefits of cannabis. Leafly sponsored a cannabis track at SXSW, and we’re one of three featured panels. It’s the first SXSW experience for all of us.

Molly, Chris and I met briefly at the convention center, and agreed to meet for dinner later. Chris, ever the culinary connoisseur, sent us a few suggestions with yummy potential. But when we saw donut entrees, we were immediately sold.

It’s well known that food often tastes better after consuming cannabis; I find I appreciate subtle nuances in flavor and texture more readily than I do without cannabis. Gourdough’s offered plenty of opportunities to experience the joy of eating, beginning with the Big Cheez appetizer: fresh mozzarella deep fried in donut dough, with a side of garlic butter.

The best part of the evening, honestly, was the conversation. Molly and Chris are such driven, passionate professionals, and their commitment to serving their clients and making the world a better place is undeniable. Molly’s eyes light up when she talks about the ways cannabis helps connect people and deepen relationships, and Chris’ heartfelt desire to bring joy to people through curated culinary experiences is truly inspiring. It was one of those evenings that made me reflect. I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do this work, and lucky to be connected with such thoughtful, talented humans.

After dinner, I asked Chris and Molly what they thought of the meal. Chris happily exclaimed that the dinner was “unreal,” and Molly noted that she was “feeling bloated, but in the best way!” If Monday evening winds up setting the standard for our time in Austin, I think it’s safe to say that we’re in for an unforgettable week!

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