Yo, that's an intro! aim high and be prepared to struggle for the next 20 years or so
If you do not have the chance to go regularly, say once a year for 3 months, to Africa and learn this "language" in it's natural environment, you should really draw on all possible sources. you are raised in another culture and this will influence your perception of this in some ways fundamentally different culture. It doesn't necessarily mean that this will be to your disadvantage. You just have to accept that your way as a non native will be different. I recommend that you try to learn as much about the "grammar" of this drumming language as possible, use the analytical tools our culture provides for drumming, and figure out how Mande music is structured in that respect. It is a good intellectual challenge, I promise. On other occasions, then, forget about all that and strive for a naive and direct approach, just let your feeling figure out how this music works. let us know regularly about your progress!