Marijuana-infused food can deliver one of the best feelings in the world, like a big warm hug, if you get your dosage just right. Too much and you may panic or worse… call your mom. The marijuana plant provides, among many of its attributes, a level of introspection, and a contemplation of life more deeply. These profound experiences are more easily assimilated, into the self, when someone knowingly and willingly consumes an edible.

The world is already confusing enough whether you are stoned or sober, young or old, rich or poor. If I had a dime-bag for every time someone joked about wanting secretly to slip their grandmother edibles, I’d have made a brick of hash by now. I always caution people against this dishonest approach. Accidental consumption does happen so labels are also a key ingredient with edibles.

I learned the hard way that labeling too, is a form of consent. For a long time, and with good reason, I didn’t label my products. Both of my next examples are consequences of my own negligence. Obviously, I have learned from these mistakes and I invite you to as well.

Read also: Baking a Fool of Myself: Cannabis Community and Ganja Goddess Pavlova

One day, pre-pandemic, a client of mine came home to find his cleaning lady rearranging fridge magnets with artistic concentration. He went over and asked if she felt okay.

“No sir. My sister is coming to take me to the hospital. I don’t feel well,” she replied and then returned to her magnet art until her sister arrived.

He wished them the best and, somewhat perplexed, returned to the kitchen to cook dinner. He went to the freezer door to grab frozen peas where he found not one but two empty wrappers of Watermelon’s world famous “Rum-resin balls.

Panicked, he immediately called the hospital to alert them of a lady en route to emergency who may or may not have eaten 100 mg of marijuana!

The person on the phone casually quipped back: “Yup! Happens all the time. Thanks.” Dial tone…

If you are already a recreational consumer, you’re in a better position to identify a breach in consent. What happens to folks who don’t know they’ve consumed a mind-altering drug? One second they are in the known world and the next they are in a “WTF” world. Hence the term mind altering. By knowing the signs of intoxication, one can better navigate these experiences. Without knowledge, these experiences can navigate you, sometimes right to the emergency department.

Another cautionary tale happened in jolly old England, 20 years ago, with my then boyfriend, Zach. Zach was in London shooting a movie for many months so I would send “care packages” to him and a few other actors in the film.

The kind of “care packages” that look homemade but happened to contain marijuana gingersnaps and chocolate-covered mushrooms (don’t try this at home kids).

Read also: Baking a Fool of Myself: Un-Intoxicated

One morning Zach and I received a frantic call from an actor (a care package recipient) who had gone to Paris for the weekend. He had lent his flat in London to his “very square” agent who apparently found a random chocolate and ate it unwittingly. He was beside himself searching for a solution. “What should I tell her Zach? What will happen to her? What will happen to me? You’ve just got to tell me… is there an antidote?” Zach took a long pregnant pause then responded with his thickest southern drawl, “Well… does she dance?” We all laughed so hard. The solution was obvious. Call her back and tell her there is no antidote to magic mushrooms. Tell her she might as well switch gears and decide to have fun with the whole experience.

Armed with this new approach, “square lady” went out for tea with her daughter-in-law. Later, we were told, the two laughed all through lunch, rekindled their familial bonds and I quote: “had the greatest day in years!”

In both cases, it was not a breach of consent so much as mistaken identity due to a lack of labeling. Although I cannot come up with any cautionary tales on the subject that aren’t hilarious, I still want to caution people against feeding others edibles without their consent. In most cases things turn out fine because cannabis and/or mushrooms are pretty safe, but by making that decision for another, you are robbing them of their autonomy. Choice belongs to the individual. Spreading this type of joy demands consent and labels.

The greatest way to introduce edibles to a loved one is to make it look exceptionally enticing. Spend a lot of time making just the most perfect dish you can think of — one they cannot refuse. Make this dish super-low dose (5 mg), so low they wish they ate more, and only give them one serving.

Sneaking edibles into your proverbial grandma is a breach of trust, not to mention she cannot call her mom. I challenge you to get grandma to try edibles because your low-dose creation is so delicious and the feeling it gives off is so warm and so cozy, she cannot help but want to revisit the experience again. This is the best approach to get the green light from Grandma. Trust me. I’m Watermelon.


Black Bean Coffee & Cannabis Brownies

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
SERVINGS: 16

Remember those plates of warm, chocolatey brownies that Grandma used to make when you visited? Well, here is the chance to repay all that deliciousness. Just be sure to give her the heads up she’ll get more than a sugar buzz.

Ingredients

  • 15 oz. can of black beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp of grape-seed or coconut oil
  • 6 grams of toasted shake flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fine ground coffee
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (set aside for now)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Toast dry shake flour in small fry pan on medium heat. DO NOT BURN! Just get it toasted a bit. Set aside to cool.
  3. Now, you can throw all the ingredients into a food processor/blender but in this order.
    • Black Beans
    • Eggs
    • Grape seed oil
    • Toasted Shake Flour
    • Vanilla
    • Baking Powder
    • Salt
    • Coffee
    • Cocoa
    • Sugar

Blend until well blended and creamy, then pour into a prepared 9x9-inch baking pan. Toss the ½ cup of chopped walnuts evenly over the top and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Pull out of the oven and prick the center with a toothpick. It if comes out clean it is ready to cool and serve. If it comes out with batter still on it put it back in the oven for 5 minutes.