Unthanksgiving Day(Image courtesy of Gabrielle Catalano)

Unthanksgiving Day: Traditional Native American Poyha Infused With Northern Lights

Cherokee tribes created and handed down the venison dish poyha, which is essentially a Native American cornbread and meatloaf cross. It’s made of corn flour, deer meat, wild onions, and chokecherries or other native berries. This hearty dish provides nutrient-dense energy and was traditionally cooked in clay pots over an open fire. Other versions of poyha utilizing bison meat were favored by the tribes from the Southwest regions and the Great Plains.

White-tailed deer are sacred to the Cherokee people and have always been a food staple in their culture. Meat, clothes, weapons, ceremonial outfits, shoes, bags and knives can all be cultivated from deer. Poyha was a great way to combine local ingredients into a satisfying and delicious dish that honored the spirit of the land and the deer that roamed it.

Native Americans invented many dishes that have been handed down for generations within their own family lines, in addition to recipes they taught to early American settlers. Cornbread, American meatloaf (origins from scrapple, which was a mixture of pork and corn flour), popcorn, beef jerky, smoked salmon jerky, cornmeal mush or grits, hush puppies, tortillas, succotash, fried green tomatoes and fry bread are just some examples of recipes created by Native Americans.

This Thanksgiving holiday, we’re honoring our Native American brothers and sisters with an Unthanksgiving Day feast, including a traditional poyha infused with one of our favorite pure indica strains, Northern Lights.

Poyha Infused With Northern Lights

The sweet and savory flavor profiles of this dish pair well with the sweet, spicy, woodsy hash taste of Northern Lights. An OG in its own right, this strain came to creation in the 1980s and has been locked into the weed scene ever since. An indica-dominant hybrid that boasts an incredibly fast-hitting body stone, Northern Lights will sedate you faster than the speed of light.

It’s the poster child for combating insomnia, muscle pain, migraine, tension headaches, inflammation and lack of appetite. Wonderfully paired with the stick-to-your ribs poyha, you’ll soon find yourself wrapping up in blankets with the compulsion to get super snuggly. Before you know it, you’ll be off to slumberland with a happy body, relaxed mind, eased soul and full belly.

Ingredients You Will Need:

  • 2 pounds ground venison
  • 2 cups corn, minced
  • 2 cups fox grapes, minced (you can use chokecherries, cranberries, blackberries, or any other berry or grape)
  • 1 ½ cups yellow corn flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 large onion minced, or 3/4 cup minced wild onions
  • 4 tablespoons melted infused Northern Lights tallow
  • 1 tablespoon tallow
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic salt


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brown the ground venison with 1 tablespoon tallow in a pan. Drain the meat and add to a large mixing bowl.

Step 2: Add the minced corn, minced fox grapes, minced onion, melted tallow, chili powder, garlic, pepper, salt, garlic salt, corn flour and eggs. Mix until fully combined and pour into a greased Dutch oven, skillet, or 10-inch glass pie dish. Cover and set into preheated oven.

Step 3: Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the oven after it’s finished cooking. Let the poyha rest in the oven for 15 minutes before serving. Cut into slices and serve immediately.

Dosage: If a gram of flower tests at 18 percent THC, then 18 percent of 1,000mg would be 180mg. To figure out your dosing, sub the number of your THC percentage into the amount of flower you want to add and do the math to determine how potent you want your poyha to be. If you want a smaller dose, simply cut the flower down to a smaller portion. If you want a larger dose, increase the flower to your desired dosage.

Alternative Strain Suggestions

Strains that possess sweet, candied hash flavors as well as earthy terpenes and flavonoids would pair great with this gamy dish. The following would be ideal if you didn’t have Northern Lights handy:

Hindu Kush: Earthy and potent pure indica that promotes a feeling of mental haze.
Afghani: Pure indica that boasts sedating properties. Perfect for combatting pain, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

G-13: An indica-leaning strain with an impressive THC percentage. A great one if you’re having issues with chronic pain or muscle spasms.

Hash Plant: Earthy, indica-dominant Hash Plant is the perfect go-to strain for those who suffer with insomnia or migraines.

If you cannot find these strains, don’t panic, just follow your nose and taste buds to find strains that would best complement the dish. And when choosing another strain, keep in mind that the THC percentage will be different, therefore dose accordingly.

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