RITUALS – By Camille Chacra, founder of Allume & co-host of The Grass Ceiling, the potcast

All photos by Vee Mercier


Each issue, we cover the lifestyle and rituals of members of our community. For our Food Issue, we feature Camille Chacra, founder of Allume amongst others. Read below on how she gets into the mood to enjoy the plant.

What I appreciate most about the concept of the ritual is how it makes each and every one of us so interesting. Truth be told, I don’t have many; but when it comes to pot, we’re looking at a completely different story. As I sit here writing away, I’m enjoying the crux of my ritual: indica high is in full effect, and my attention starts to shift toward my makeshift pu pu platter of snacks. But let’s throw it back to the beginning; you may be wondering, how do I reach this blissful state? Well, there are definitely some meticulous steps involved, as with any good ritual.

I’m a bonafide nocturnal toker, so comfort is my top priority. First thing’s first: I always get into my ugliest sweats and ratty t-shirt. On go the twinkle lights. If I’m feeling especially indulgent that night, I’ll prep a toothbrush because I know I’ll eventually be too lazy to walk the 10 feet to my bathroom to freshen up. Evidently, preparation is key for me. I’m no perfectionist, obsessive-compulsive toker by any means; I just like to make it super easy for myself to be happily lazy. As a borderline workaholic, I seriously treasure these seshes.

Now onto the pu pu platter. No matter which strain I smoke or vape, I get hit with the munchies quite hard. I’m not one of those people who can crawl into bed with a cup of lightly steeped chamomile tea, a biscuit, and a book. I need a wide variety of solid snack options. Typically, I’ll go for a massive bowl of mixed frozen berries. I like to let it sit out a few minutes so that everything melts and melds together. Next, a substantial hunk of whatever cheese is in the fridge (triple cream brie of my dreams, if I’m lucky) and a mountain of buttery baguette crisps. To wash everything down, a tall glass of prune juice. Let me tell you, it’s the most underrated drink and simply does not deserve its rap as granny’s go-to laxative. Mark my words, it’s going to reinvent itself as an elixir best enjoyed in a mason jar.

Once I get back to my room, I usually lay my snacks atop my already berry-stained bed sheets (I can just see my mother cringing). Like clockwork, my dog always gives me the stare-down and starts begging. That’s his ritual. Without fail, I cave and break off a little piece of a baguette cracker for him. I’ll then spark a very large joint—which I’ll smoke consistently throughout the week—and toke until I reach a comfortable high. At this point, I start snacking and inevitably find myself watching reruns of one of the Real Housewives franchises. Lately, it’s been a combination of New York City and Beverley Hills: east coast vs. west coast. I love indulging in this trash, mainly to observe the outrageous and explosive dynamics of affluent middle-aged women. Anthropology of the rich is sometimes more fascinating than Planet Earth (blasphemous, I know).

I eventually nod off. Fin.

In taking a closer look at my nocturnal cannabis routine (while in the midst of it, no less), I’ve come to notice certain things about myself that I hadn’t before, and that’s exactly why I believe rituals make us so interesting. Most notably, I see that these practices reflect what I often lack most in my daily life: the ability to stop, unwind, and recharge. That’s probably why I take my sweet time creating a chill setting for myself, so that I can just enjoy. The next day, I always wake up feeling ready to take on whatever tasks are lined up for me. I see everything from a refreshed perspective, one that’s more measured and relaxed.

Overall, the incredible thing about cannabis rituals is that they’re so personal. Some just enjoy smoking in and of itself without any frills or add-ons, while others are more regimented and see their individual customs as enhanced experiences. Clearly, I fall into the latter category.

I’ll conclude with this small nug of wisdom: as much as I’m content with my satisfying ritual, I’m surely not bound to it. You best believe I’ll never be one to turn down a spontaneous back-alley ceremony of puff-puff-pass. That’s just me.

Also published on Medium.