My entire life changed after an evening mushroom trip in the Pogonip Hills UC Santa Cruz. The weather was perfect; we had 3.5 grams of mushrooms each, weighed out by our friend in the Crown Apartments on campus, water and blankets in our bags, and we were ready to explore the new frontier. It was the first time that I had been bold enough to try mushrooms and even bolder to ignore the “start small” approach that was cautioned to me. I didn’t want to be tickled; I wanted to be enveloped. I was ready.
What happened that day set me on a different course. I came face to face with my deepest-held desires and the truest reality. To sum it up, I learned that I was part of everything else and that I couldn’t waste another second not doing exactly what was in my heart. Not even days later, I made plans to leave my most comfortable life at university and immerse myself in the field of hospitality—a career path that would allow me to dedicate my life to holding space for others. As some may expect, the backlash was strong, particularly from my family, as no one understood my greater vision. This part of my life was filled with anxiousness, dread, fear, curiosity, and excitement. It may not have been pretty, but it was mine. If I failed, then it was my failure, but if I succeeded, then it was my success. Sparing you the nitty gritty, I lived out of my car and worked daily at one of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in Los Angeles. It became my mission to create something the world hadn’t seen before.
For those of you unfamiliar with my work, I have been creating in the Cannabis and Psychedelic space for more than a decade now under my company name, The Herbal Chef (THC). While I create a myriad of experiences and products, my primary goal is to destigmatize plant medicines through modern cuisine. After falling in love with plant medicines and the ways in which I have learned from them, I became aware of the fact that my path was to thoughtfully and responsibly introduce the world of plant medicine to the world (especially the older generations as many are immigrants like my family and have misguided notions of plant medicines) through absolutely stunning presentations of multi-course, multi-sensory experiences. I figured the best way to teach people about the benefits of psychedelics was to put it in a way that everyone was familiar with—food.
I know I am not the only one to share the sentiment that psychedelics and hospitality are closely tied to the nourishment of the mind, body, and spirit. I would say directly linked, even. I remember one time, after an ayahuasca ceremony in the Peruvian jungle, I was offered a tiny banana after an eight-hour session that was particularly deep. I sat there in a slight daze, remembering and writing down the experience as I could remember it. We were taught to fast beforehand as the Shipibo tribe did, so after the ceremony, I was usually pretty hungry. I stared at the little banana in my hand as I listened to the sounds of the jungle seemingly talking to me, calming me. Finally, I snapped to and peeled the banana carefully so I could hold it. That first bite, as someone who has dedicated their entire life to food, absolutely blew my mind. Yes, the banana was unbelievably tasty, but what sunk in even more was the realization that I had never really even had a banana until this moment.
The way my body felt in that moment created a direct correlation between eating well and feeling well, in addition to the clarity of my spirit and mind that the plant medicine brought me. I was on the path. The most simple phrasing I have found to explain what it is that I do is Psychedelic Hospitality: the practice of creating a hospitable state of existence before, during, and after one takes plant medicine. The recipe I’d like to share is for making a Pineapple Sage Blue Honey Soda with Ginger Syrup.
I thought of several recipes for this first column and eventually settled on something that I thought you would not only enjoy, think is delicious, and have an easy time making but also keep intact the integrity of the actual psilocybin itself. As we know on a broad scale, heat degrades, especially perishable items. When consuming these particular fungi, it is important that you don’t heat it up. Otherwise, it will lose potency.
Making A Blue Mushroom Honey Base
With a quick Google Search, you’ll come to know that there is such a thing as “blue honey,” which is a real, blue-colored honey that comes from bees that are pollinating in a high aluminum content area. The aluminum reacts with the natural acidity in the nectar of the honey, which turns the honey rivetingly blue! Do you want to taste this honey? Yes. Is this the honey I am going to teach you how to make in order to embark upon your psychedelic journeys? Not at all.
The “blue honey” I am talking about is a newly popularized method of preserving mushrooms inside of…you guessed it, honey. This is mushy honey or mushroom honey. We all know honey tastes amazing; it’s sweet, floral, and has a hint of acidity, but what is less commonly known about honey is that it has been a preservative for thousands of years. I mean that literally. Recently, archaeologists found honey in ceramic jars that was perfectly delicious dating back thousands of years! Other fruits, roots, and more preserved in honey have been found in-tact thousands of years later as well.
The reason behind honey’s magic preservation powers are two-fold. First, honey contains an antibacterial agent we all have heard of, hydrogen peroxide. This allows for bacteria to be quelled to the point where humans can eat it thousands of years later. The second fascinating key to honey preservation is gluconic acid, which increases the acidity by lowering honey’s pH. This is nature at its finest when it comes to complete, beneficial foods. In light of all of this presumably new information, it makes much more sense why we are preserving our magic mushrooms in the glorious elixir know as honey. The fun part is learning how to make and measure your mushy honey base dosage so you can save your fungi along with being able to measure exactly how much you need.
Blue Honey (Mushy Honey, Mushroom Honey) Recipe:
- 4.62g Psilocybin Mushrooms (ground)
- 132g Honey (Pourable honey is best)
- 4 oz Glass Jar
- Start with the mushrooms and blend them in a spice grinder or small blender until it becomes a powder-like substance. It is important to make sure there are no big chunks.
- On a small scale, weigh out your ground mushrooms to 4.62 grams. Add that to your clean, dry glass jar.
- Add 136 grams of honey to the jar and stir slowly, but consistently until all of the mushrooms have been mixed in the honey thoroughly. Store in a cool, dry place.
- Your 4-ounce jar now contains 4.62 grams of mushrooms, which comes out to the following measurements: 22 teaspoons of .2 grams (microdose). 8 tablespoons of .5 grams each (large microdose).
Pineapple Sage Blue Honey Soda Recipe:
Now that we have sufficient background information and we have built up a bit of trust, it is time to create! This soda, on its own, is wildly delicious. If you take into account that this is infused with your psychedelic of choice, it becomes an iconic beverage that you will make before your next camping trip.
The soda is carbonated with a Soda Stream, but you can use any method to carbonate it, including adding carbonated water, which I will give you the instructions for as well. I used one of the herbs in my garden, Pineapple Sage, however, if you like to use basil, mint, tarragon, rosemary, or thyme, you can be creative in your own right, the most important part is the dosage of psilocybin you use. The recipe is done in grams, but you can use your best judgment for everything except the blue mushroom honey base.
- 150g Pineapple Juice
- 150g Picked Pineapple Sage leaves
- 10g Ginger
- 450g Water
- 150g Sugar
- 7g Lemon Juice
- 15g Honey
- 44g (2 Tablespoons) blue honey
- In a sauce pot, put your ginger, water, sugar, pineapple juice, regular honey, and pineapple sage leaves on low heat. Cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it stand with the cover on for another 10 minutes.
- Strain the contents out into a bowl or pitcher and really press the leaves and ginger to get the most flavor from them.
- Add the lemon juice and the Blue Honey to the still slightly warm liquid. Stir vigorously.
- Add the liquid into a soda stream bottle and pump full of CO2 until you have a fizzy bubbly. Alternatively, you can add a cup or 1.5 cups of sparkling water.
- Store in the fridge until you are ready to consume. Pour over ice and enjoy a refreshing, mind-altering beverage.
A Dose of Psychedelic Hospitality
Before you drink or offer your psychoactive soda, you should set an intention that you will carry with you along your trip. Tribe members always taught me to fast before taking plant medicine so there are no conflicting energies in my body, but it is important to listen to your instincts to make your own call. Make sure your environment is as comfortable as possible for you and any guests. Have light snacks (such as fruits and nuts) and cold beverages nearby. Have a clean bathroom and clean towels prepared beforehand. This preparation will lend itself to a relaxed, hospitable environment so that participants can focus on the ever-expanding universe within them. Lastly, turn your phone off or put it in another room. Screens are prohibitive to the main reason for taking this particular psychedelic.
During the experience, consider having a music playlist, preferably without words (as they can sometimes echo in our heads). Make sure to have those drinks and snacks you prepared beforehand nearby. Have blankets and other comforting items nearby should you need them.
As you are coming down from the experience, it is a great practice to have a notepad to write it down in detail. One tends to be ravenous and deserving of a big meal since fasting that morning, so be prepared with a meal or ready to order something. Be comfortable, cozy, warm, and full. Most of all, enjoy the peace and quiet. Try to integrate any of the lessons you were confronted with in a loving way. Happy exploring!
Have You Heard…?
Dosing mushrooms can be tricky. Most people don’t have access to potency testing. So, it’s common to dose shrooms in grams by dry weight, not by milligrams of psilocybin. Danielle Simone Brand has more information on where to get started.
An at-home psilocybin test kit may help you estimate the potency of your mushrooms. Mycologist Dr. K Mandrake has the details.
Challenging journeys are uncomfortable. Traumatic journeys are a serious injury to the nervous system and psyche. Learn more about navigating bad trips from Dr. Erica Zelfand.
DISCLAIMER: Possession and preparation of psilocybin mushrooms is illegal in many parts of the world. We encourage you to abide by the laws in your particular region. Only engage with psilocybin mushrooms if they are decriminalized, legalized, or unscheduled in your region. This article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to encourage others to break the law.