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Edward Deleon, of Cleveland, Ohio smokes a joint while lying in the grass during FlyHi 420 Festival at Civic Center Park on April 20, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Seth McConnell, Special to the Denver Post)
Edward Deleon, of Cleveland, Ohio smokes a joint while lying in the grass during FlyHi 420 Festival at Civic Center Park on April 20, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Seth McConnell, Special to the Denver Post)
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Denver’s signature stoner event, FlyHi 420 Festival, has been cancelled for a second year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still plenty of ways to get lit on April 20.

Here are 10 events, deals and ideas to spark inspiration for the cannabis-friendly holiday.

Grab mobile munchies

Brands Veritas Fine Cannabis, Olio and Cookies are teaming up with food trucks around Colorado to offer enthusiasts a complementary pairing to their marijuana buzz. When customers purchase any products from the aforementioned companies at participating dispensaries, they’ll receive a voucher for a free food truck meal. Food trucks will be stationed in the parking lots of 20 dispensaries in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Trinidad and Vail, and will begin serving at either 11 a.m. or 4 p.m. depending on the location.

Visit Veritas on Facebook for a full list of venues and food providers.

Binge a podcast about Colorado cannabis

If you’re looking for more of a cerebral celebration, dive into two riveting podcasts about marijuana in the country’s first legal market. On Something, produced by Colorado Public Radio and PRX, takes a look at life after legalization in the Centennial State — for better and for worse. On April 20, the podcast will drop a trailer for its latest season, slated for a May 11 debut, but there are two excellent seasons just waiting to be binged on your favorite podcast app.

The Syndicate explores one of the biggest illegal marijuana operations in the state. Hosted by Denver journalist Chris Walker, the podcast takes listeners on skydiving planes filled with weed and into the backrooms of a grow warehouse where loopholes in Colorado laws led to the rise and fall of a local smuggling ring.

Snap a pic at the Marijuana Mansion

The Marijuana Mansion in Denver’s Cap Hill is what we’d call a weed-filled selfie paradise. But the building where this Instagram magnet is located also had a storied history in Colorado’s movement toward legalization. The mansion, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, served as the office for the Marijuana Policy Project, the group that drafted what eventually became the law legalizing adult cannabis use in 2012. Tickets to take a tour are limited on April 20 — go figure — but widely available for the rest of the week.

There is a dispensary on museum grounds, but keep in mind that you can’t consume cannabis at the mansion unless you’ve booked a private event.

Marijuana Mansion, 1244 Grant St, Denver. Tickets cost $25 at mjmansion.com.

Attend 420 Earth Expo

The Colorado chapter of the NORML is hosting one of the few in-person events this year: an all-day event centered on education and celebration of plant-based medicines. The event includes speakers such as herbalist Brigitte Mars, as well as entertainment such as a morning yoga class, live music and cooking demonstrations. Tickets can be purchased based on the activities you want to attend, or you can buy an all-access pass. There’s also the option to attend the expo virtually.

420 Earth Expo at OH Zone, 2020 Kipling Street, Lakewood. Tickets cost $22-$82 at eventbrite.com.

Watch two dope premieres

Did you know that the couch is one of the most popular places to celebrate 4/20? Two new shows can also help you get into the holiday.

On April 20, the Food Network’s high-energy cooking competition Chopped will debut a new spin-off, Chopped 420, in which chefs elevate their basket of mystery ingredients with cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for a chance to win $10,000. Bonus: The show is infused with Denver talent, including competing chefs Tiana Ramos and Jarod Farina. The five-episode series runs on Discovery+.

Also premiering on April 20 is High Herstory, a new comedy series devoted to highlighting the untold stories of groundbreaking women in history. This show isn’t about marijuana history per se, but hosts take a toke before their retellings, much like beloved series Drunk History. Download the Social Club TV app to your device to check it out.

Join a smoke sesh with Willie Nelson and Nathaniel Rateliff

Music icons Willie Nelson and Nathaniel Rateliff are partnering up for a nine-day virtual convention that aims to destigmatize, educate, and promote cannabis culture. Starting April 20, expect panel discussions, musical collaborations, comedy and more. Tickets range $10 to $500, based on how much you want to give, and proceeds benefit HeadCount’s Cannabis Voter Project.

RELATED: Nathaniel Rateliff gets into the weed business — with help from Willie Nelson

Party with Melissa Etheridge

Alternative rock more your flavor? Musician and cannabis entrepreneur Melissa Etheridge will be hosting a two-hour live jam, starting at 4 p.m. MST, on her namesake streaming channel. Tickets to tune in cost $10.

Denver 4/20 dispensary deals

Several dispensaries are offering discounts and giveaways to sweeten the holiday.

  • Lightshade: Former Denver Bronco and cannabis reviewer Reuben Droughns will be dressed up as Willy Wonka and swinging through at Lightshade locations in the Denver region handing out “golden tickets,” or restaurant gift certificates, to customers.
  • Maggie’s Farm: Maggie’s Farm is proud to focus on sustainable cultivation and will be educating customers on how they can do it at home. Now through April 20, the company will feature a daily terpene, the compound that causes unique aromatics in plants, and hand out seeds for a daily featured herb — not that kind of herb — that align with that terpene.
  • The Green Solution: Customers can get 15% off their orders at all 21 locations by ordering online. The first 50 people to show up in person will be entered into a drawing to win weed for a year. That comes in the form of a monthly coupon, good for an ounce of flower at one cent each.

Win free room service

Craving a getaway now that you’re vaccinated? Hotels.com will foot the bill for room service for 20 winners who book lodging through the site. The enter this contest, book a room from April 12 through 4:20 a.m. eastern time on April 20 using Hotels.com, then send your confirmation to munchiehotels@hotels.com to be entered for a chance to win a $200 gift card to cover your food. Winners also receive late check-out and a free night for their next trip. The deal is good anywhere you book in the U.S.

Cook with cannabis at home

Colorado has yet to see a weed-infused restaurant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create such a culinary experience in your own kitchen. New book The Art of Cooking with Cannabis, out May 25, features recipes from five Colorado food experts, including Jeffrey Knott (Blue Sparrow Coffee), Peggy Moore and Hope Frahm (Love’s Oven), Kendal Norris (Mason Jar Event Group), Kevin Grossi (The Regional) and Daniel Asher (River and Woods).

“Colorado is at the forefront of the cannabis movement. It was important for me to feature folks who treated cannabis as a serious culinary ingredient,” said author Tracey Medeiros.

We got a sneak peek at two recipes you can try at home.

Korean-style CBD-infused short ribs (Blue Sparrow Coffee)

Make four servings, or two ribs per person.

Marinade

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup hot CBD-infused coffee, dark roast, preferably Strava Craft Coffee
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced

Short ribs

  • 8 Korean-style beef short ribs (2 1/2 pounds)
  • Oil, as needed for grill grates

Garnish

  • 3 to 4 scallions, trimmed, thinly sliced on the bias into rings, white and green parts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons organic sesame seeds, white

Recipe

  1. To make the marinade: In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, coffee, soy sauce, mirin, and garlic, whisking until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Rinse the short ribs under cold running water to remove any bone fragments, then pat dry with paper towels. Transfer the short ribs to an extra-large ziplock plastic bag, then add the marinade. Refrigerate for 24 hours, occasionally turning the bag.
  3. To make the sauce: Remove the ribs from the marinade and transfer them to a plate. Set aside.
  4. Pour all of the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, whisking often, over medium-low heat, until the sauce becomes syrupy and coats the back of a spoon, about 40 minutes.
  5. While the sauce is simmering, preheat the grill to medium-high heat and generously brush the cooking grates with oil.
  6. To make the short ribs: Grill the short ribs on one side until nicely browned but still tender, about 3 minutes. Using grilling tongs, carefully flip the short ribs over and cook for another 3 minutes, or until desired doneness is achieved.
  7. To serve: Arrange the short ribs on a platter and drizzle some of the sauce over and around the meat. Scatter the scallion rings and sesame seeds over the short ribs. Serve, passing the remaining sauce at the table along with steamed rice on the side, if desired.

Chewy gingersnap cookies (Love’s Oven)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 200 milligrams THC concentrate, or preferred dose
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2/3 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup for rolling the cookies
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Melt 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, then add the concentrate and mix until completely incorporated.
    Soften the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons butter and cream together in a stand mixer with the melted infused butter, molasses, and 2/3 cup sugar on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Note: The mixture should double in volume. You may need to beat on high speed for the last 1 to 2 minutes to achieve that volume.
  4. Add the egg and continue to cream on medium speed until combined well. Add the dry ingredients in batches and continue to mix on low speed until about 50 percent incorporated.
  5. While the mixer is running, slowly add the crystallized ginger and continue to mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overmix.
  6. Place the remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar in a shallow dish. Divide the dough into 20 cookies; about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough weighing 1 1/4 ounce each.
  7. Using your hands, roll the cookies into individual balls; then gently roll each cookie around in the dish with the sugar. Place on the prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake until the tops of the cookies start to crack, about 12-14 minutes. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

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