420 Recs: Laganja Estranja, Drag Artist and Weed Icon
The multi-hyphenate performer dropped in to talk about terpenes that curb the munchies and weed beverages for staying lifted on the go.
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Lead photo by Robert Hayman, courtesy of Zoe Wilder
Cash Only’s 420 Recs is an ongoing series where interesting folks offer recommendations for all things 420 — what strains they like, what weed products are blowing their minds, and what they like to do once stoned.
Laganja Estranja is arguably the most famous weed-friendly drag artist in the world. A multi-hyphenate talent who gained prominence after competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Laganja is now one of the top pot personalities and public advocates of our favorite herb.
Laganja has been on the cover of New York Magazine and Dope, appeared on So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Got Talent, performed with Jennifer Lopez, and released a number of weedified tracks that light up the dance floor. “Hot Box,” in particular, is an instant haze classic, featuring the memorable lyrics, “Ganja goes in when she’s smokin’ on that contraband… Uh, I think I’ll take another hit again.”
The actress and dancer has some big projects in the works, including a new EP called Daily Basis, a feature film where she stars opposite Alaska Thunderfuck, and a new web series called Open to It. Plus, she has some fresh paraphernalia for sale on her site, including this very sexy grinder.
Like many 420 figures, Laganja Estranja is a friendly chiller who generously made some time to hop on the phone with Cash Only to discuss her weed preferences. Below, the icon discusses how she favors certain terpenes that prevent the munchies, drinking weed beverages on the go, and why she’ll always listen to female rappers from the ‘90s when she’s really baked.
Photo by MTHR TRSA (@mthrtrsa), courtesy of Laganja Estranja
How was your 4/20?
Laganja Estranja: It was eventful. I was in P-town which is this crazy little gay city in Massachusetts. I was at The Pilgrim House. We did a 4/20 show with a bunch of comedians and a comedian duo group – it was like a stoned variety show.
Do you have a current favorite weed strain and how do you like to consume it?
My current favorite weed strain right now is Tropicanna Cookies by Autumn Brands. It’s got a really great limonene profile and that’s really what I look for in bud. My favorite way to smoke is a pre-roll because I’m lazy. I want it ready to go so I can just light it up!
I feel like most people talk about the indica/sativa binary, but I’m glad you mentioned a terpene you enjoy. What is it about limonene that you like?
I am lucky enough to be in the industry and get really proper education quicker than a lot of the masses, so I learned two or three years ago that we’d eventually start categorizing bud by the terpene because terpenes have more of an effect on your experience than simply “indica” or “sativa.” Once I found limonene, I really just stuck to it. It does a lot of good things for me, especially how it helps alleviate anxiety and depression. I think it’s a really great mood stabilizer.
But I’ve also found that limonene strains can help curb my appetite during the daytime, and that’s something I look for. Of course, once I’m home, I want to dive into some snacks and eat the whole house down, but while I’m working, it’s hard for me to eat and then go jump around on stage. Having a medicine that provides stability but also helps keep me tided over until I can properly eat is important. I don’t think there’s a true “diet weed,” but there are strains that don’t give you munchies. And as much as I love having the munchies, during the day I want a strain that kind of acts like a cigarette.
What other limonene-heavy strains do you like?
I love Green Crack. I don’t know if it has limonene in it, but it has a citrusy profile. I also love Tangie, it’s one of my favorite strains. It can be great to cook with, too. Amazing flavor profile.
Photo by Jon Sams
Do you have any favorite weed products — any particular papers, grinders, or whatever?
Sure, well I definitely like to use my own grinder which is available at www.laganjaestranja.com. As far as favorite products go, I like to dab — I’m definitely a dab head. Recently, since my transition and being on hormones, I’ve sort of strayed away from dabbing because they’re a little too strong right now in combination with the hormone replacement therapy I’m on. But I definitely love dabs, crystals, sauce, and some of my favorite people who make those right now are Cali Stripe — I really love them. They make great dabs.
This is a tangent, but years ago I edited a long-form feature for MERRY JANE about how transitioning and hormone replacement therapy can change what weed your body likes. Have you noticed that at all?
Yes, for sure. I definitely never gravitated to indicas at any point in my life — even at night I’d smoke sativas — but once I started transitioning, I noticed indicas that are playing a greater role in my weed use. They help me calm myself throughout the evening.
I’m also consuming more edibles, and I never really liked edibles because they made me sleepy! But right now my schedule is so crazy and I’m having to sleep at very weird hours, so I definitely have been enjoying edibles. I like Wonder; they make a great THC-infused beverage. And I like CANN, which just came out with a new flavor called Blue Raspberry that’s amazing. It’s not actually Blue Raspberry flavor; it’s got rhubarb in it, but oh my god I’m obsessed with it. Wonder has the “High Vibe” version which is 20mg of THC, which is definitely what I prefer, but CANN makes drinks with 5-10mg of THC — more of a mild effect, but I really love the flavor.
What activity do you like to do after you’ve gotten stoned?
I’m very simple; I love a good Netflix and chill. I can spend all day on my couch because I rarely get time to do that. I’ll smoke, veg out, eat snacks, and watch scary movies. That’s one of my favorite things to do. I also love going to the beach and love a good hike along the water. I like this one hike along the coast near Topanga and Malibu. You can see the water and it’s gorgeous. I also go to Runyan regularly because it’s near my house. It’s very popular out here and a lot of people do it, even though it’s not necessarily the most beautiful. It’s a great hike and some good exercise. I’d also recommend some hikes along the Hollywood sign which are really cool. Maybe my favorite type of hike is when I’m traveling and a local takes me to their favorite hiking spot. I’ve done some amazing hikes in Hawaii that were just beautiful and we ended up at waterfalls. I also have a girlfriend who lives in Carmel Valley, and literally everything out there is such a beautiful hike.
Can you recommend something to watch while high?
Right now, I’m watching The Girl From Plainville. I think that’s the title? I’m a stoner, so I don’t remember many titles. Recently, my favorite shows have ended, which is a disappointment. I was watching WeCrash, Uber Recs, and Drop Out. All three had a similar vibe, and were about people who lied to get to the top. I’m also definitely looking forward to the final season of Ozark, which is about to come out. I love TV, so I could literally recommend a million titles I’m watching. I’m a total TV nerd. I like darker things on TV, even the comedies I like, such as Life and Death and Somebody Somewhere. Since my job is so fun and uplifting, I like to take myself into another vibe and another world when I’m watching entertainment.
What do you like to listen to after smoking? Any albums, radio shows, or podcasts?
My favorite podcast is Sword and Scale, which is a crime series and every episode is a different story. I love it because it incorporates actual 911 calls, and they do a lot with the audio that I find really impressive.
For music, I love Kasey Musgraves — you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. I love, love, love her music. Usually, I’m listening to female rappers — that’s the stuff I play regularly because I grew up on it. Trina, Khia, Jackie O, MC Lyte, and Missy Elliott. I think the new female rappers are great — love Cardi, love Nicki — but I really like old school female rappers best.
Photo by Jon Sams
Can you recommend something to read after smoking?
Unfortunately, public school ruined reading for me. I view it as work and not a fun activity. I don’t really read in my off time, stoned or not.
Who’s in your dream blunt rotation?
Missy Elliott, Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart, and Kasey Musgraves. It’s a full circle, an intimate crowd. I was gonna say Meryl Streep, but I don’t think she gets high.
What’s up on the horizon for you, work-wise?
I have new music coming, an EP called “Daily Basis” that will be dropping soon. I have a movie coming out called God Save the Queen where I star opposite Alaska Thunderfuck from Rupaul’s Drag Race, so that should be really exciting. We hope it’ll be in theaters. It’s going to the Tribeca Film Festival first. And then I’m part of this new web series called Open to It — we just dropped the first couple episodes, and we’re filming more later this year. I’m also expanding my paraphernalia line, so keep an eye out for that.
Photo by Jon Sams