How to do the Pot

Written by: Ellen Scanlon

Not all cannabis podcasts are created equal – we prefer those that prioritize education over culture and raise female stories to the ears of those that need to hear them. We’re proud to share space with Ellen Scanlon, founder of ‘How To Do The Pot,’ as she and her partners do just that. Read about the past, present, and future of canna-podcasting from Ellen’s perview.

Why does ‘How to do the Pot’ exist?

I was in a bad bike accident and had several injuries, including breaking sixteen of my teeth. It was a tough recovery, and I took a lot of Advil for chronic pain. The side effects of so much medicine caused even more health issues. A few years later, I was trying to have a baby and struggled with several years of infertility. I learned that I have endometriosis, and cannabis is an incredible treatment for its painful symptoms. My perspective shifted to consider cannabis as an alternative for a myriad of health challenges.

I live in California and when adult-use cannabis became legal in 2016, it was easier and more fun to consume cannabis in ways that clearly improved my well-being. I want to make that path easier for women all across the country as we enter this new paradigm of safe, legal access to cannabis. Weed has always been sold by word of mouth, so a podcast seemed like a good place to start! 

What are the main topics you cover on the podcast?

Cannabis is a huge topic and it can be hard to find practical advice about it, especially for needs specific to women like period pain, sleep, and sex. How to Do the Pot shares 30 minute (or less!) episodes each week that feature both expert advice and stories from women like you and me. As the show has grown, we’ve added new series’ that dive deeply into a topic in a few short, fun episodes. We’ve focused on legalization FAQs, the twelve essential strains for women, how to grow your own cannabis, autoimmune diseases like Lupus, and health conditions like migraines, which disproportionately affect women. On our series called Weed Words, we unpack widely recognized but narrowly understood terms like “Paranoia”, “The Munchies” and “CBD”. We just released a new series on a topic we get so many questions about, sleep & cannabis.

Tell us about the ‘First Time I Bought Legal Weed’ campaign.

In the early days of adult use in California, a good friend who had experience buying cannabis brought me along on one of her shopping trips. I was too intimidated to go by myself! Now that I’ve been in the industry for a few years, I realize this is still a pain point. I don’t want anyone to feel alone or scared on their first trip, so in this series women from all over the country share how they felt – excited, nervous, overwhelmed, thrilled – the first time they bought legal weed. The community of women on the episodes is so diverse and a true reflection of the cannabis consumer today. I love that all the stories are in service of helping women feel good about that first buying experience.  

What’s a topic that you haven’t touched on the podcast yet that you’d like to dive into?

So many! Cannabis is the most fascinating industry I’ve ever worked in. I love telling stories that help break down antiquated cliches about weed, and health-related episodes about cannabis showing promise in treating Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis are at the top of my research list. If you or someone you know has experienced treating MS or Parkinson’s with cannabis, we would love to hear your story – please reach out to us at

What’s one thing you think women need to know about cannabis?

If you’re new to cannabis, start slowly and with a low-dose product. “Not really feeling it” is actually the first step to figuring out the right dose for you. From there, you can discover why it is truly a magical plant. Also, I realize there is still a stigma surrounding cannabis, especially in states that don’t have legal access yet. While it may not be for everyone, I believe women should know that it can help with everything from menstrual cramps to anxiety. Cannabis and people who consume it haven’t always gotten the best rep throughout history, so through educating women around some of its clear medicinal benefits, our podcast is working to change the narrative. We focus on giving practical tips, finding common ground through stories, and helping women become more open to developing a more nuanced view of cannabis.

— Ellen Scanlon

Listen to Sarah Tupper on How to do the Pot here