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.
All photos courtesy of Michael Vegas
Michael Vegas is like the adult film version of the Dos Equis Man — just add an extra X, and boom, you’ve got the most interesting man in porn. The performer, director, “anal guru,” and happiness expert has many talents, though his boyish looks and undeniable charm have undoubtedly led to him becoming one of the most famous NSFW entertainers in the game.
As the saying goes, “the scoreboard doesn’t lie”: Vegas has racked up over 350 million views on Pornhub and nearly 500 million views on xVideos, though the true count is likely higher once you factor in pirated rips of his content. He’s performed in countless videos, directed dozens more, and embraces all varieties of kinks and fetishes across the spectrum of sexuality — he calls himself “PigDaddy,” after all.
But outside of being a smut legend, Vegas is a deeply fascinating dude with an attitude that exudes “zen master” vibes. From his on-screen presence in both his adult work and social media, to the way he talks about his day-to-day life, the guy is the absolute opposite of insecure. At 38-years-old, Vegas is truly a blissed-out and authentic human. Real charisma is when you’re consistently yourself, and people still gravitate towards you like a moth to a flame. Michael’s got that magnetism in spades, and talking to him feels like a session with a chill-ass life coach — and one who doesn’t proselytize, either!
Over a long and extremely enjoyable phone call, Vegas cracked me the hell up while discussing his intimate relationship with weed. He also reminded me of how miraculous this plant medicine can be. In 2006, Mike got in a horrific motorcycle accident that left him comatose with a broken neck and spine. Vegas is allergic to opioids, so he started using medical marijuana to treat his injuries. “Oh my god! Suddenly, I didn’t even have to think about my pain anymore. My thoughts were free. It became a life-changing tool for me,” he explained.
From there, we pivoted to many topics, each increasingly interesting. Vegas talked about how learning to juggle also changed his life and benefited him in so many ways that he could “write a dissertation on it.” He gave his therapist a shout-out, as she just published a new book on polyamory. He also discussed listening to ASMR porn when you’re high, as well as a deep house mix that Diplo made using his DJ Hanzel alias. And before we wrapped things up, Vegas noted his longtime admiration (and attraction) to Martha Stewart, and hypothesized what a romantic tryst with the her might be like. Heated lube dispensers and ball doilies, anyone?
This is one of my favorite Cash Only interviews to date, and I want to say a big thank you to Michael Vegas! Read the whole thing below.
What was your first time smoking weed like?
Michael Vegas: I was 15-years old the first time I smoked weed. I was over at a friend’s house and his dad was out of town. We got a hold of a little bit of whiskey, and his brother was a weed smoker, so we got a little nug — maybe a gram’s worth of weed. We smoked and got fucking BAKED! We sat in his brother’s room and played N64 GoldenEye all night. I remember running away from Oddjob, going in circles and staring at the screen while going, “Whoaaaaa…. what’s going on?” Then, whatever happened after GoldenEye, I woke up the next morning in a lawn chair in the backyard, wearing a beanie and sunglasses in my underwear. I feel like my first time smoking somehow involved time travel.
So, from the first time you smoked, you knew you liked weed?
I couldn’t really tell if it was the weed or the whiskey that really made a cleavage. Probably the whiskey, knowing what I know about weed now. However, the forgetfulness could also be chalked up to either, but probably the alcohol. It was fun, it was a good time. Later on, I smoked weed a little bit here and there. It was a bad kid thing to do, and I needed some rebellion. But I didn’t have a need for weed at that point in time. I wasn’t feeling stressed or pain or lack of hunger, or so many other things I now use weed to manage.
I was kind of not into weed, I was even against weed, for a long time. It made my friends lazy! My best friend would just sit around and play videogames all day, when we used to go ride bikes and do skateboard shit. I was that dog in the PSA commercial watching his boy deflate. It was a love-hate relationship for quite a while.
At what point did weed become a regular part of your life?
Well I knew that if I smoked, I would get mega-stoned and couldn’t really do anything after. But in 2006, I got in a severe motorcycle accident. I broke my neck, my spine, and ended up in a coma. Hard times. Hard times for a while. Years and years later, maybe like 2010, I was sitting around in my house and I was in so much discomfort that I had to figure a way out. And I’m allergic to opioids and opiates. So I said, all right, I’ll try out some weed. Anything to get me out of here, man. Anything to get me out of this body, to get me out of whatever has happened to me.
So I smoked a bunch of weed, and the pain went away. That was great. Then I kept doing it, I kept smoking weed more and more to get through the pain. And then finally, I was able to start functioning while high. I wasn’t so stoned anymore. It’s like drinking: you learn to be drunk. I learned how to be a little bit stoned. You have to learn to take a Darvocet or a Norco or whatever pain pill. That doesn’t mean you want to be high, laying on the sofa! You try to find a dose for you that works like medicine so you can function like a human being again.
I finally figured out the right amount of weed to consume and at what time to consume it, so I wasn’t all fucked up. And then, oh my god! So many benefits. Not just a lack of pain — I didn’t even have to think about my pain anymore! My thoughts were free. I didn’t realize how much of my mental capacity was occupied trying to ignore what my body was feeling.
Once I got past that, I realized I could think clearer. I am such a scatterbrain. My brain races and goes all sorts of places, so when I started smoking weed, my brain finally slowed down and I could manage my thoughts and get a hold of myself. I could learn things better because I could go slower when trying to process information. Holy fucking shit! I realized everything I was told about weed was a lie. It became an absolutely life-changing tool for me.
In 2017, I started going to weed events. Semi-formal things, where distributors were meeting each other and they were giving out weed. We were galavanting with the good times of weed, and one of the places we went to featured the Surgeon General, or former Surgeon General, speaking on how effective THC is at healing trauma in our veterans.
I don’t care who the fuck you are: mom, dad, teacher, friend… this guy’s the goddamn Surgeon General and he’s telling you how effective this medicine is at healing some of the people we’re supposed to respect the most? You better listen to this guy!
So now that we’re in 2022, what’s your relationship with weed like today? Are you a morning smoker, an evening consumer?
Per recommendation of Dr. Bradley from Sublime, I smoke two joints in the morning, two in the afternoon, and it makes me feel all right [laughs]. Oh, Sublime…
But really, I smoke a lot. I’ve discovered I smoke more when I’m with other people. When I’m on my own, I feel the stoned effects more because I’m not trying to quell what’s going on with me as much. It takes less weed to get me stoned when I’m alone.
So I wake up and smoke weed all day! But I’m also like, “Fuck man, I’m 40, I probably shouldn’t be smoking at all. Maybe I should use another consumption method?” Well, I’m actually 38. I turn 38 tomorrow.
What are you smoking, exactly? And what’s your preferred consumption method?
I’m a big fan of joints. I like that I don’t have to clean ‘em. I like that I don’t have to clean up after smoking one. I like that it doesn’t taste burnt because I’m not hitting resin regularly. Smoking out of a brand new pipe’s cool, I like that. But I don’t want to have to get this motherfucking oily ash all over my hands, trying to clean it out all the time.
Once you learn to roll a joint, why would you do anything else? People buy pre-rolls, and I’m like, “No, don’t do that. I will roll you a joint. I’ll put keef on the outside, whatever you want. Just stop using pre-rolls full of shitty weed.”
I like joints because you don’t have to keep smoking them. You can put them out whenever. You can borrow a lighter, and that’s all you need. There are so many benefits. You hand someone a joint and it’s way cooler than handing them a couple nugs of weed, right? So that’s the way I like to go.
Also, you gotta love a dab. I recently bought an electric nail, or an electric skillet. I’m supposed to get a Puffco for my birthday. One of my cameramen has one; he brings it to set and I love it so much. When I’m at home, and I’m not trying to recharge batteries and stuff, we have a sweet little dab rig with a quartz banger and a carb cap that has those little balls that swirl around in it. It’s got a coil, too, that sits below the quartz banger and heats it up, so you’re not getting hits that taste like metal. I set it to 575 degrees so you get to taste all the terpenes without burning ‘em up. I like that you can control the heat with dabs, so you’re not wasting all the plant material.
You’re a connoisseur, huh? You know what’s up!
Absolutely. Anything I do, I try to perfect it as much as possible. I like to be an expert, and I like to get better at anything I do. I pay attention to what’s going on, so if I do a hit this way and it’s average, I’ll note it. But if I use a different temperature or hit it another way, and it works really well, I’ll probably tell someone. “Hey man, check this out…” I’m just trying to perfect the technique.
Do you have any preferences when it comes to terpenes, or are there strains you tend to gravitate towards?
J1, XJ-13, Blue Dream, Wedding Cake, Runtz. It switches up a lot. We typically buy a quarter pound at a time because we have that sweet weed connect with a distributor, so we can get wholesale prices, which is glorious. So we’ll try a quarter pound of this, a quarter pound of that. The plug has great, organic stuff. I will say my favorite indica strain is Louis XIII. You’ve gotta get some. It’s excellent for pain management, and ideal for when you want to be stoned out of your mind! It’s the only strain where I’ll be like, “Let’s go smoke some weed,” and I’ll load a bowl or roll a joint, and hours later I’ll find a half-smoked joint or half-full bowl. It makes me so stoned that I’ll wander away and forget I was smoking weed.
Do you want to shout out any plugs?
Shannon, that’s my fucking weed lady! Shout-out Shannon. She’s got it going on. Also, a shout-out to Kake. I’m wearing one of their t-shirts right now, and they hooked us up with a bunch of vapes to try out.
Do you ever consume weed prior to performing or shooting content?
Yes, because I’m always smoking weed [laughs]. I’ll share a joint with someone on set prior if they like to smoke. I will always ask scene partners if the smell affects them, or if they’re allergic to it, or whatever else first to make sure they’re comfortable. It’s just like wearing perfume or cologne. Ask the people around you how they feel about it, too.
Does weed help you perform or make you feel more comfortable on camera?
It helps me get out of my head, and it helps me not sweat the small stuff in a way that’s very conducive to boners. As a professional fucker, I can tell you that if you start thinking too much, your dick is not gonna work. So smoke some weed. Get high and then fuck.
What activity do you like to do after you’ve gotten really stoned?
Juggling. For real. I spend a large majority of my free time juggling. Juggling clubs, juggling balls, juggling fire. Slow arts. If you’ve ever seen dudes at raves with glow sticks or whatever, I can do all that. It’s an obsession, and it’s helped me in so many other areas of life. I could write a whole dissertation on juggling.
When I was 12, I wanted to learn how to juggle, so I begged my parents for some gear, and I promised them I would learn. But then I didn’t because it’s really hard and I didn’t know how to have patience and not get frustrated with things. Remember, I wasn’t smoking weed yet. Then years and years and years later, I ended up meeting this guy named Marvin Ong, who they call Master Ong. He’s a juggling god, and he knows all the other juggling gods. I started making friends with this group of people who are extraordinarily skilled — best in the world type stuff — and it unlocked my brain in a new way. I saw human potential differently than I’d seen it before.
Juggling helped me understand movement better. I was a stiff dancer before juggling, but it has helped me with timing, it’s helped me learn how to play guitar better, it’s helped me learn to learn better because there’s an immediate feedback system for if you did the moves right. It’s replaced the extreme sports that I used to do and which gave me a lot of bodily injuries. I get the same “living on the edge” satisfaction from juggling that other things gave me before. Plus, it’s all about progression and growing. Those are positive things.
Fuck, I could talk about juggling all day. It’s an obsession and I think about it all the time. If I’m sitting in traffic, the energy behind my eyes will be tracing sacred geometry, because those are the actual patterns you move in for juggling. So I’m practicing when I’m not even doing it!
I have a small tangent about sacred geometry and juggling: If you watch someone juggle and you see the traces of what they’re doing, you’ll see sacred geometry. So like slow arts and glow sticks and all that — and if you’ve taken maybe a little too much LSD — you’ll see sacred geometry in real life! And when you make your body go through those motions, your brain starts to understand sacred geometry in a way that touches your soul. Everybody should juggle!
Can you recommend something to watch while really high?
Midnight Gospel! So good. Pendleton Ward, the dude who also did Adventure Time, is a genius. It’s got some really deep shit in it. Not only will you get involved in all these beautiful, existential conversations that he has with experts of all areas, but the animation is such that you can’t tell how they did it. Did they animate this insane thing you’re watching first? Or did they have the conversation first? And if they had the conversation first, how did they get on such fucking crazy tangents that somehow all fit together in the end? I’m still trying to figure it out, but it’s so fun to watch. It helps you heal, it helps you deal with death, and it helps you understand life and loss and so many things we need to get better at as humans dealing with our own humanness.
What about on the adult side? Is there any particular type of pornography that you think goes well with being stoned?
Whatever gets it up for you and gets that blood pumping! Maybe ASMR stuff. We’ve been producing a lot of ASMR content for Adult Time, so if you’re into listening and watching then that’s a very neat experience. We’ve got these cool ASMR mics that make things show up in stereo and surround sound if you’re wearing headphones.
What about music? Any go-to albums, DJs, rappers, etc? What do you like to listen to when you’re stoned?
Ugh, I have such eclectic musical taste. We were recently at a piano bar, and I picked four different songs, and the pianist didn’t know any of them. They were popular once, but I guess not mainstream enough today!
Let’s see, I love EDM and I love dancing. It’s great for getting up, moving around, and exercising, especially when you’re stoned. It’s also great for juggling, because it works like a metronome and I can keep my timing nice and right. I fell in love with trance initially, but I’m more into deep house and electronica-type stuff. I don’t love hardcore. I don’t want to feel like I’m getting kicked in the temple when I hear the rhythm. I like keeping it at 120-130bpm or lower. Here’s what you should listen to: On SoundCloud, there’s a mix called the “One Deeper Mix” by DJ Hanzel, which is actually just Diplo doing a deep house set. It’s an hour or hour-and-half-long journey that is a masterpiece.
[*German Accent*] “What’s up this is DJ Hanzel! I wanted to play a sick one hour set, but they only gave me 30 minutes. Why? I don’t know. But let’s get into it anyway and: Go. One. Deeper.” That’s how it starts [laughs].
I also love world music. Give me an accordion, gimme some horns, give me a brass section and some strings. I listen to a LOT of what I call “soundtrack music,” but it’s orchestral jazz from the ‘60s and ‘70s. It borders on psychedelic music, and it’s out there.
What about things you like to read when you’re high?
I’m always on Reddit, so I’m not even going to count that. Always in a Reddit hole. My eyes have a really hard time tracking text, which is part of a learning disability I’ve had my whole life. So reading is not my go-to activity; movement is my go-to activity.
That being said, I want to go ahead and plug this: My therapist, Kate Loree, recently wrote a book called Opening Deeply, and it’s the newest polyamory book on the market. God, it’s good! And not just because it’s my therapist. I’ve heard her say these things for years, and I’ve been trying to share this knowledge. Finally, it is all in book form, and I can now share it easily via Amazon or what have you.
Who is in your dream blunt rotation?
I always know who my alive person is, but I’m not sure about dead. Bob Marley would be cool. I’d like to smoke weed with Johnny Cash. That guy is real interesting. What a wild life.
For living people, Martha Stewart. That’s my go-to. She follows me on Twitter, and has for years. I thought it must have been a mistake, but apparently not. Love you, Martha. I want to smoke with Snoop and Martha together, too, of course. Pass it to the left hand side.
People always ask me, “What celebrity do you want to have sex with?” and I also always say Martha Stewart. Can you imagine the curated experience she would give you? There’d be like fucking ball doilies and dick coasters and thigh pillows and a lube warmer that descends from the ceiling. She’d think of everything! Also, as a side note, I bet Martha gives great head.
Any last thoughts you want to add about weed?
I love it. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. If you’ve been told it’s the devil’s lettuce, maybe look into what people are actually saying about it, compared to what our government has tried to tell us about it through programs like D.A.R.E.