Alt-F2 to run.
A good program launcher (similar to Dash from Unity) is Synapse. Ctrl-Space and type first later of the program's name.
To create new Menu items use MenuLibre
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:menulibre-dev/devel
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install menulibre
To add desktop launchers, copy desktop files from usr/share/applications or create similar ones. Also shortcuts can be created with right-click on the desktop.