HOLIDAYS mean getting together with the ones you love—and not just with the ones you're related to and semi-contractually obligated to express some sort of affection toward. These friendly gatherings are often (read: always) enhanced and/or redeemed by a social lubricant of some kind. Most frequently, it's alcohol. Sometimes, it's cannabis. Hey, it's only weed—what's the worst that could happen?

A great deal, and this is how I know.

I have a small skillset, which includes penning this column and making potent pot edibles. Very, very potent edibles. How potent? A full serving for one adult is a piece of cookie no bigger than a dime. I have crafted them for my Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) patients with cancer since before there was an OMMP. And yes, they are splendid for festive occasions—provided you mind the dosage. But I no longer make them for holiday gatherings, after the "Highest of High Holidays Meltdown."

About 20 years ago, I worked in circles that included elected officials, and I socialized with them often. One of them held a well-known annual holiday party that became renowned for its duration, array of guests from the public and private sectors, and having wheelbarrows full of booze.

Wishing to contribute, I whipped up a triple batch of my specialty—two ganja-infused shortbread cookies that sandwiched a layer of chocolate frosting made with copious amounts of hashish... then drizzled with chocolate, infused with still more hash. You could get a buzz just looking at them too long.

I proudly presented my offering. My host insisted they be hidden away from "amateurs"—AKA the majority of attendees. They were secured down in the basement, in an art studio, in a cabinet, on a shelf high above most people's reach, so that only well-seasoned inner astronauts would be able to partake after they were led to this secret stash.

That plan failed. Within 30 minutes, friends told friends who told other friends, and the results of ingestion began to make themselves apparent.

Some sections of the party went from lively revelers to near-mute contemplators of tinsel. Others began laughing hysterically. Cheese cubes and candy canes were inhaled by the handful at the same time, and deep bonds were formed between new friends. No, really—two friends ate several cookies and were married with child within a year, which they attributed to being so high that they had "stripped away everything that wasn't real." (Yes, they were hippies.)

Not everyone fared as well. Another friend had what the kids call a "freakout," and locked herself in her car, screaming at me from behind her locked doors that she had been poisoned, was going to fucking die, and wasn't going to die in someone's home because that would be rude. Her husband had to come get her with a spare set of keys.

The party went until 6 am. My host and his wife missed their own party—they were locked in their bedroom all night, unable to look at me and do anything but dissolve into peals of laughter.

I still make the cookies. But now I bring a nice bottle of wine to parties.