Get your slimy, webbed phalanges off ma boots!
What are they for?
I've watched a few play through a and no one uses them.
The one germane difference between a pan card and a pan token is that the latter does not take up a precious slot in your hand. So it's always the better move to cook mushrooms using a pan card, if you have one at your disposal.
That would be why you rarely see the pan tokens used. I would say I typically end up using mine, but not until toward the very end of the game when I'm hustling to get in that last batch or two.