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Sundays With Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey
Sundays With

Sundays With Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey

Currently residing in Mexico City as a freelance writer, co-host of the new podcast Broccoli Talk, and creative director at the women owned latinx cannabis brand XulaMennlay Golokeh Aggrey is someone who needs little introduction. Having made waves in the cannabis industry for over 14 years, we’re excited to bring you Sundays with Mennlay.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Gemini is my rising sign, sun sign, with Gemini placements in both mercury and mars. Let’s just say I need herb in my life to calm me down. I’m a 36-year old first generation American born to West African parents in Staten Island, New York. I grew up mostly on the east coast but became bi-coastal after graduating from journalism school in 2005. I moved to Blue Lake, California in Humboldt county and started a beautiful and turbulent career in California’s medical cannabis industry under Proposition 215’s Compassionate Use Act of 1996, Section 11358. When I’m not deep in the trenches of weed, I spend my time exploring and researching the diasporic connections between Africa and Latin America.


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What is your earliest memory of cannabis?
According to my mother, there were some parties at our house where her “bad” friends would smoke weed while my sisters and I were fast asleep. Shockingly, I don’t recall ever noticing the smell or having flashbacks to that time when I eventually started consuming herb. It wasn’t until I was fourteen outside of a roller skating rink that I too became “bad” and smoked weed for the first time. It was my first love.

What does “Feel Good” mean to you?
Feeling good is being free from obligations, free from guilt, expectations, capitalism, racism –– just enclosed in a safe cozy accepting bubble of comfort.

What does your perfect Sunday entail?
Sundays start slow. I’ll usually read in bed with my coffee and a joint for an hour or so. I’m the mother of about 30 plant babies –– some of which are rather massive babies, so I like to make a meditation out of watering, pruning, repotting or feeding them on Sundays.

Do you prefer Sativa or Indica?
Honestly, living in Mexico has made me waaaaaaay less snobby and obnoxious when it comes to strains, a characteristic I’ve enjoyed leaning into. These days, I oscillate between the very indica OG kush for pain and to chill the fuck out, or sampling Xula’s CBD prototypes for a calmed focus or to tackle any monthly hormonal imbalances.

If you could share a joint with any person alive or dead, who would it be and why?
May I choose four?

James Baldwin, to talk about the parallels of being a black writer. Baldwin seems like the perfect person to have a stoned writer’s workshop with. I’d love to thank him for all he’s done for this troubled world.

My paternal grandmother, Mennlay, whom I was named after. I know nothing about her and if her and I could share a joint together, it would no doubt be magical.

My maternal great grandmother, Gracie Miller, who raised my mother on a chicken farm in Liberia. She was a teacher, educator, community leader and feminist. I owe so much of who I am to her.

Lastly, Jerry Garcia. He had one of the most tender voices and I’d love to sing in harmonization with him while stoned. Which song would we sing? Either Shakedown Street, or Eyes of the World.

Which artist are you really excited about right now?
Shaniqwa Jarvis is an artist, photographer and thinker creating spectacular captures of humanity with modern fashion aesthetic and tender emotional portraits. She’s witty, warm, hilarious and photographs stars like Erykah Badu, Tracee Ellis Ross, and everyday people with a sharp and stunning eye.

She’s currently showing RITUALS, a series of portrait photographs and film vignettes focused on black family life, with artist and filmmaker Rajendra Debah. It’s in Los Angeles from February 13th – March 29th as HVW8 Gallery.


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What keeps you up at night?
Knowing that people like Micheal Thompson has been in prison for 25 years for selling weed even though the state of Michigan, where he’s held, legalized the recreational use of marijuana in 2018.

It’s hard to sleep thinking about the folks who live in encampments in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, sleeping on the streets next to thousands of houses that have been vacant for years. I can’t sleep knowing that 2.5 million children in the U.S are homeless. I weep instead of sleep knowing that approximately 37.6 million Mexicans live in poverty earning less than 5 dollars/ 90 pesos a day. Meanwhile club kids and tech bros have been funneling into Mexico City non-stop ranting and raving about how, “Mexico City is so cheap!” but to whom?

I’m certainly not perfect and have my faults, but I think a little mindfulness goes a long way. So does sleep.

Cover photo: Mennlay for Kinfolk by Victoria Barmak

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Asking Your Partner to Smoke with You
Cannabis

Asking Your Partner to Smoke with You

Do’s and Don’ts: Asking Your Partner to Smoke with You for the First Time

One stopping factor for people who have never smoked before (or who do not smoke regularly) is that they have no one to smoke with. The stigma of cannabis is fading, but that doesn’t mean all uncertainty is eliminated when it comes to smoking the plant. But if you are curious, and looking to get your hands on the green, who better to experience it with than your partner?

Maybe one of you smokes cannabis and the other doesn’t, or you both do, or have before, but never together. Whatever your specific situation, we’re here to help you feel good about it all. If you are asking your partner to smoke with you for the first time, here are some do’s and don’ts.

Do: Be open with your communication

Communication can be the make or break of any relationship. Maybe this is something you do well in your relationship, maybe not. Here’s a chance to get better. If you want to smoke with your partner, broach the topic. Tell them this is what you want to do and why. Be direct, but don’t pressure or make them feel awkward. Something like: “Would you ever want to smoke with me sometime? I’d love to experience it with you.”

If they are immediately put off by the idea, back off. In time, maybe they’ll change their minds, but at least they know your intentions and what you want and are open to. If they seem hesitant but curious, keep talking. Let them see into your world and why you enjoy it. Bring them in by being communicative and inclusive.

Don’t: Pressure them into smoking with you

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the first time you have this conversation is important. It will set a precedent and dictate everything that is to follow. If they are unsure, and you try to convince or pressure them, get angry, annoyed, or anything negative, they will feel all of that, and it could turn them off forever.

Keep emotion out of it, listen well, and know that not everyone will want to or be open to using cannabis, just like not everyone likes to drink alcohol. Respect someone’s wishes. If you give them the space to think about it, and show them that they can trust you, maybe they’ll come around. This approach will only yield good results and it will build trust and intimacy between the two of you in the long run.

Do: Prepare yourself for a good smoke

This one is crucial. Do not smoke with your partner for the first time empty-handed, empty-headed, or scrambling to find things. You can wing your Sunday afternoon but do not wing this. Preparing yourself properly will depend on how you’re consuming your cannabis. Are you smoking flower? What are you using to smoke: a bowl? Bong? Vape pen? Are you eating cannabis-infused chocolates or cookies? Each one should be taken with its own considerations.

Another option is to have a grinder at the ready. You can grind up the flower, and either roll a joint, a blunt, or a spliff (if you are both okay with tobacco). Show your partner the proper way to roll one. Pre-rolls are also becoming increasingly popular where the joint comes rolled for you, saving you time and energy.

If this is your first time smoking with your partner, be conscious of quantity. Start with a low dose and go slow. You do not need to light the world, or your partner, on fire the first time you smoke. Smoking flower out of a bowl can be nice and intimate. A vape pen generates less smoke and is highly portable because it’s thin and discreet like a pen and can easily slide in and out your pocket. High CBD strains, because they are less psychoactive might be a nice option to start with to see how your partner responds.

Have plenty of water around. They may cough, or have dry mouth from smoking. Have yummy snacks available for you both to munch on during your smoke. Cookies, brownies, chips and salsa, candy like skittles or starburst can really make the taste buds pop and enhance your high.

Smoking cannabis is about experience. This is something you are helping to create for them, so be prepared for anything. You are sharing the effects of a fascinatingly complex plant for the first time. Cherish it.


Don’t: Be overbearing

We know it’s your first time smoking together, but try to relax. Let the effects of the plant work naturally and go with the flow. Be conscious of your partner’s needs, mood, and try to anticipate, but at the same time, do not suffocate them with a barrage of questions, or the constant need to check in.

Find a good balance and read the room. If they are fully engrossed as they watch Animal Planet, let them enjoy the new experience. If they seem tired and want to sleep, no need to keep the party going. If they seem to want to talk, engage them in conversation. If they seem fidgety or unsure, check in. While they should enjoy themselves how they want to, remember this is their first time, so they might want or need some guidance too.

Regardless of whether this is your first time, don’t dote on someone. No one wants to be treated like a child who can’t move or think for themselves. If they seem like they are one puff away from comatose, they’ve probably smoked too much. Go slow. Your tolerance is not their tolerance. If you want them to smoke with you again, it’s best to respect their limits and make everything as smooth as possible and that includes knowing when to check in, and knowing when to let things happen.

In honesty, being high shouldn’t require any different logic than not being high does, but it’s good to think about these things beforehand.

Do: Make them feel comfortable

You are their confidant, teammate, buddy, lover, guide. They are getting high with you, someone who can support them.

It’s best to choose a location you aren’t going to leave anytime soon. Choose somewhere comfortable, preferably the privacy of your own home, where you aren’t going to be interrupted or bothered. There’s always a chance, but It’s likely they aren’t going to want to go out into the world high.

Do you have two hours? Five? You’ll want to start slow of course, but knowing how much time you have will help you decide what to smoke and how much. One-on-one is best for first-timers unless you have a third party you both love and trust. But since this is your first time, make it special and intimate for the two of you.

Smoking cannabis can make our minds work in ways we never imagined. If you’re both having fun and feeling comfortable, chances are it can lead to sex. Maybe you find yourself cuddling on the couch together after an hour. Maybe you are seeing such a beautiful side of your partner you can’t keep your hands off them. Maybe you’re making out or giving each other soft, tender kisses. If you’re making them feel comfortable, they’ll open up more, you’ll both learn more about the other, and your relationship will see immediate positive effects.


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Don’t: Be reckless or inconsiderate

That means no smoking and driving. Or smoking at work, or in preparation for it. Don’t antagonize anyone or cause trouble. Be especially cognizant of your surroundings and how your actions will affect those around you. When more cities like Los Angeles open their public consumption lounges, it’s good to consider these do’s and don’ts when that time comes.

Do: Connect

One of the most spectacular things about cannabis is its psychoactive element. Highs can be consistently the same, or your experiences can differ greatly from smoke to smoke. While alcohol is a social lubricant, cannabis can be seen by some as a wisdom lubricant. The plant can take your mind to places it’s never been before. You’ve thought about something the same way your entire life and then suddenly you seen an entirely different side of the equation.

Share these connections with your partner. Recount your first time smoking. Use the activity as a chance to go deeper, to put your beautifully complicated lives in slow motion so you can think about things from an entirely different plane.

Do: Introduce them to something new

That documentary about the planets you’ve been wanting to watch? The 500 piece puzzle that is collecting dust in the closet? Better yet, how about music? Play them music you know they like, but also music they don’t like, or they don’t think they like. What better time to expose them to newness than when their mind is open. Some excellent weed culture music could be:

  • Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”

  • David Bowie

  • The Doors

  • Janice Joplin

  • Tame Impala

How about television and movies? Weeds, Friday, and Pineapple Express are all certain to bring on the giggles.

Smoking with your partner for the first time could be many things: awkward, scary, exposing. But it also has the potential to be remarkable. These do’s and don’ts are meant to act as a guide for first-timers and veterans alike. They may not all work for you. You may come up with some of your own.

The veteran can be a go-with-the-flow leader acting only on intuition, or they can be analytical, knowledgeable about every aspect of the experience: location, apparatus, form of cannabis. You may pitch an experience over the illusion of what getting high will be like.

Gone are the days of getting high in the back of your car parked in some dark alleyway. In many states cannabis is no longer illegal (here’s a list of which states have legalized). People are recognizing and putting aside old stigmas and embracing newer technologies.

Whether you’re going deep, and coming up with the solution to world peace, or you’re loopy, lucid, and laughing, have fun with it. Your experience is all what you make of it. And there’s a whole wide world waiting to be discovered.

If you’re looking for your closest dispensary, here’s something to get you started.