A method of producing nano-scaled graphene platelets (NGPs) having an average thickness no greater than 50 nm, typically less than 2 nm, and, in many cases, no greater than 1 nm. The method comprises (a) intercalating a supply of meso-carbon microbeads (MCMBs) to produce intercalated MCMBs; and (b) exfoliating the intercalated MCMBs at a temperature and a pressure for a sufficient period of time to produce the desired NGPs. Optionally, the exfoliated product may be subjected to a mechanical shearing treatment, such as air milling, air jet milling, ball milling, pressurized fluid milling, rotating-blade grinding, or ultrasonicating. The NGPs are excellent reinforcement fillers for a range of matrix materials to produce nanocomposites. Nano-scaled graphene platelets are much lower-cost alternatives to carbon nano-tubes or carbon nano-fibers.