Background Marrying principles of evidence-based policymaking, with its focus on what works, with principles of consultative policymaking, with its focus on what works for whom, means finding ways to integrate multiple knowledge inputs into policy decisions. Viewed through the lens of the embodied-enacted-inscribed knowledge framework, policy consultation is a site of knowledge enactment, where the embodied knowledge enacted by individuals engages with the inscribed knowledge contained in policy documents, creating new forms of embodied and inscribed knowledge that move beyond these spaces. Aim Using this knowledge framework, this study aimed to trace the movement of knowledge inputs through South Africa's mental health policy consultation summit. Methods Breakaway group session transcripts from the national consultation summit were thematically analysed to identify the types of knowledge that participants explicitly drew on (experiential or evidence-based) during discussions and how these knowledge inputs were used, responded to, and captured. Findings Findings suggest that there was little explicit reference to either evidence-based or experiential knowledge in most of the talk. While slightly more evidence-based than experiential knowledge claims were made, this did not render these claims any more likely to be responded to or engaged with in group discussions, or to be inscribed in group recommendations. Discussion The importance of designing participatory processes that enable optimal use of knowledge inputs in these enacted spaces is discussed. Conclusion Attending to the specific ways in which knowledge is transformed and moved through a policy consultation process has the potential to enhance the value that consultation offers policymakers.