The Weed Witch
By Pipe Dreams by The Weed Witch
The Weed WitchOct 28, 2021
Madison Margolin Comes of Age in the Jewish Psychedelic Underground in "Exile and Ecstasy"
There’s nothing like pouring your heart, soul, and wallet into your debut book only launch it during the worst timing possible—be it a travel book during a global lockdown or a book a psychedelic Judaism during the height of the latest iteration of the never-ending Israel-Palestine conflict. At the same time, these are exactly the critical moments when uplifting books that inspire new thinking are the most needed.
On the show today: Madison Margolin, a journalist covering psychedelics and spirituality, and the author of Exile & Ecstasy: Growing Up with Ram Dass & Coming of Age in the Jewish Psychedelic Underground, a memoir-meets-Gonzo journalism endeavor that was just released on November 6. Madison is also the host of Be Here Now Network's Set & Setting Podcast, as well as the co-founder of both DoubleBlind Magazine and the Jewish Psychedelic Summit.
Exile and Ecstasy takes readers on a trippy coming-of-age journey through Margolin’s early years growing up within "HinJew" community surrounding Ram Dass—author of Be Here Now—and in the cannabis legalization movement, laying the groundwork for going inside New York's Jewish counterculture and the Hasidic underground, and somehow coming full-circle to find unexpected intersectionality between the Jewish and psychedelic experience.
Living on the fringe within the Jewish and psychedelic worlds, she uses journalistic reporting to offer practical, yet mystical ways to integrate psychedelic experiences into the everyday to feel connected, grounded, and reconcile “seemingly disparate experiences of spirituality and psychedelics, with traditional religion.”
She joins the podcast to discuss her book, the multitudes of Judaism, the concept of psychedelic lifestyle beyond drugs, and her visit to Ramallah just days before October 7 to meet with Arabs and Jews using psychedelics to resolve ancestral trauma.
Fashion to Flower: Sackville & Co. is Changing the Way You Think About Weed
Founded by Lana Van Brunt and Hayley Dineen in 2018, New York-based cannabis lifestyle company and multidisciplinary product design and production studio Sackville & Co. stood out for its eye-catching accessories shiny gilded grinder and sleek joint carrying case fit for the stiletto stoner crowd.
Both carrying an impressive pedigree in design and fashion, the move into cannabis lifestyle seemed like a natural fit. Van Brunt, the former Director of Experiential Marketing, Head Talent Buyer and Director of Business Operations at VICE Media, and Dineen, who worked in product design and development for luxury brands through the United Nations ethical fashion program to create programs for Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, and Karen Walker, brought a new vision to cannabis where users no longer needed to sacrifice form for function.
Since then, the company has grown exponentially, exposing cannabis culture to a new generation of consumers thanks to collaborations with Wu-Tang’s GZA and streetwear brands like Sundae School and Carrots Carrots that sell out almost instantly at each drop—but also a more mainstream, older demographic gravitating towards the plant.
While the growing number of beautifully crafted smokeable objets d’art have helped to normalize, destigmatize, and ease consumers’ apprehensions about dipping into world of weed, the road to success hasn’t always been easy. In fact, Van Brunt and Dineen almost lost the company.
Today, they join the podcast to share their insights on the chaotic New York market, the changing face and culture of cannabis, and Sackville’s triumphant comeback story.
Unlocking the Secrets of Taste: Exploring the Science and Art of Flavor with Mandy Naglich
Taste is one of our most important senses, yet the majority of people still don’t have the language to articulate exactly why they love or hate something.
In the past, tasting education had been limited to restaurant and hospitality professionals, most often deferring to rigid French wine classifications that rely on blind tasting to consider the more nuanced principles of how the natural environment or terroir (soil, topography and climate) impacts the expression of flavor within the final product, including how it looks, smells, tastes and feels. However, thanks to the emergence of pedestrian-friendly craft beer education over the past decade, widespread interest in food culture, and even the impact of sensory loss from COVID, there’s been an uptick in curiosity about our personal relationships with taste. And we now have the ultimate handbook to understanding the science and art behind flavor.
Joining the podcast today is New York-based Advanced Cicerone, Certified Taster, and journalist Mandy Naglich, whose latest book “How To Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life,” was released just last month. Teaching both consumers and professionals about flavor and service across the beverage alcohol category, her wildly popular tasting classes frequently sell out around the city and virtually. Her work has been featured in Vice, Taste of Home, VinePair, and Wine Enthusiast, and has generated a considerable following on her blog, Drinks With Mandy. Today, she shares the story behind her unconventional job and how taste can create daily opportunities for joy in the every day.
Quitting Your Day Job To Chase A Pipe Dreams Ceramics Studio with Riley Brain of Wandering Bud
On the pod this week: Riley Brain, founder of Wandering Bud, a Kansas City, Missouri-based ceramics studio that specializes in home decor for cannabis connoisseurs. She also takes the crown for producing the most beautiful bubbler worthy of every coffee table: the Billie, an abstract-inspired vessel that functions as a water pipe, but easily disguises as a flower vase.
Riley discusses how she quit her day job and built her skills to chase her pipe dreams, the method and thinking behind her form-meets-function designs, her tips for enjoying Kansas City’s cannabis scene is like (come visit the studio! Check out The Nelson-Atkins Museum!), the joys of home growing, smart ways to side-step the social media censorship police, and a solid argument for cleaning your wares before and after every use.
Queering Food and Cannabis with Writer Chala June
On the podcast this week: Chala June (they/he), a National Magazine Award-nominated food writer, chef, and cannabis advocate based in Brooklyn, NY. Formerly the associate print editor for Bon Appétit, Chala’s work often draws on his Black and queer identities and how they inform his lifelong passion for culinary culture and social justice. Chala has led virtual cooking classes for organizations like Queer Food Foundation and MoMA Teens, contributed articles and recipes for publications like Cherry Bomb, Culture Cheese, and CN Traveler, and most recently moderated a panel at the Luxury Meets Cannabis Conference (LMCC).
Chala sits down to discuss the shifting cultural dynamic in New York between mainstream and socially impacted communities, experimenting with infused foods in the kitchen (Weed grits! Blood orange olive oil cake!), their cannabis routine from escaping the psychic assault of the MTA to the joy of a luxurious drag at the end of the day, the importance of proper dosing before going into a CostCo on someone else’s tab, how plant medicine helped them during their transition, what’s happening in queer black drag culture, and their predictions for what’s next in infused foods.
Mainstreaming Psychedelic Weed Witchery with Lulu Tsui of On The Revel
On the show today: Lulu Tsui (that’s pronounced SWAY), Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer at On The Revel, a curated educational and networking experience series aimed at fostering an inclusive, collaborative, and flourishing cannabis sector. She is also President of the Cannabis Media Council, an organization dedicated to destigmatizing and normalizing cannabis using the power of traditional media (which coincidentally just had its first ad placement for its “I’m High Right Now” campaign featured in the latest Vanity Fair!). She is also the User Experience and Research Advisor at Oakland Hyphae, the minds behind the Oakland Psychedelic Conference and Psilocybin Cup. This woman knows how to get it done.
Lulu discusses watching the rise of cannabis coast-to-coast through a variety of lenses, the challenges legacy operators are facing who want to legitimize their businesses against the gray market, the overlap between cannabis and psychedelics, using UX to get to know psychedelics users, her opinion on the New York roll out, what makes cannabis culture here unique, getting elders on board to shape the next generation, plus the rituals behind her weed witch lifestyle (she swears by drinking moon-activated Tiger’s Eye crystal water).
Listen, like and share the episode. Follow On The Revel on Instagram, YouTube, and their Dope People community portal. Mark your calendars for the June 22 Buyers Club event at Basilica Hudson in Hudson, NY, and on August 26 when they’ll be hosting their annual block party at Restoration Plaza in Brooklyn. And make sure to follow The Weed Witch for all of the latest and greatest.
The Laganja Estranja 4/20 Extravaganza!
On the show today: Our lady of the leaf and miss thing herself, the iconic Laganja Effing Estranja gracing us all with a 4/20 blessing. Best known for competing on season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race (where she served one of the show’s most sickening entrances), Laganja Estranja is the drag persona of Jay Jackson. But beyond being a world-renowned drag artist, she also has an incredibly impressive and lengthy list of achievements as a TV personality, choreographer, music artist, cannabis advocate and all-around LGBTQ+ icon. And if she has her way, she’ll be adding Broadway to that list in 2025.
Laganja talks terps and discusses how she built her multi-hyphenate career, her plans to bring back Laganja’s Dance School, a look at the debut of her musical Miss Step, the culture shift from overconsumption to educated dosing, how her relationship with the plant changed as she transitioned, and why she’ll never fly with weed ever again.
On the Stone Road with Lex Corwin
Joining the Pipe Dreams podcast this week: Lex Corwin, CEO and founder of the queer-led, family-run cannabis company, Stone Road. As a legacy grower turned founder of one of the country’s fastest growing national cannabis brands, Corwin has never known a life outside the industry. Retailing at over 400 outlets throughout California, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Michigan, plus New York, New Mexico, and Connecticut expansion in the works, Stone Road is a multi-state brand that maintains indie values despite its growing footprint.
Perched on top of a hill, Stone Road’s greenhouses in Nevada City, California take up a mere half-acre of their 57-acre wild property and operate using biodynamic farming strategies (minus the whole burying cow horns filled with manure moonlight rituals associated with biodynamic winemaking). Sticking to a consume-what-you-grow organic farming ethos, the farm is working towards closing the loop of using what’s on the property to cultivate plants, including making their own compost teas, opting out of crop sprays in favor of leveraging predator mites and beneficial fungi, operating as a no-till farm to create a nutrient-rich, living soil and micro ecosystems tended to by Mother Nature and water sourced from an artesian well.
Lex discusses how he’s been able to successfully implement a lean seed-to-store sustainability model as an independent farmer with multi-state operations, diving into the challenges of running a cannabis business in existing and emerging markets, and creating a truly inclusive marketing campaign.
How House of Puff is Elevating the Weed Witch Lifestyle and Uplifting Artists
Kristina discusses the cultural intersection of cannabis, art, and fashion and how that inspires House of Puff’s product designs, finding her speed as a mom and Latine leader in cannabis, business advice on building an equity cannabis brand, skirting around restrictions on social media, her two cents on the rollout in New York, and tips on how to live your best cannabis life.
Listen, like and share the episode. Follow House of Puff on Instagram and At Home with House of Puff on YouTube, and subscribe to The Weed Witch newsletter on Substack.
So, You Want To Be A Weed Chef: Writer and Baked Baker Christina Wong of Fruit + Flower
In the latest Pipe Dreams podcast, she discusses how she crafted her career, the trials and tribulations of consumption lounges and third spaces, how cannabis is bringing together AAPI community to overcome cultural stigmas, the time she accidentally consumed a quad dose (70mg), and an introduction to an underrated OG: Chinese hemp goddess Mogu Magu.
Sticky Icky Sacred Geometry with Artist and Weed Witch Natalie Smith
Learn about vesica piscis and the lack of Pisces in her chart, Natalie's favorite mind-altering substances, the occult and Devil’s Lettuce, being the lone stoner in your friend circle, discovering your inner weed witch, and for all the hackers out there—her new email password!—on this episode of Pipe Dreams by The Weed Witch.
From Apapulco Gold to Feminist Head Shops, Chicks vs Stigma Owner Brenda Hernandez on Mexican Cannabis
Learn about her journey, the challenges of operating a boundary-pushing shop within a conservative culture, and a glimpse at Mexico City's growing cannabis scene on this episode of Pipe Dreams by The Weed Witch.
Yesterday, Today, and TAMAR w/Performance Artist Tammy Lang
Selling out shows across the country, she’s best known for producing an extremely NSFW repertoire includes smash hits like “God Has Lodged A Tenant In My Uterus” and “Did I Shave My Vagina For This?” Frequently immortalized within the New York Times theater pages, her work has been celebrated in unexpected places like Palm Springs, Nashville, Pittsburgh and the far stretches of New Jersey.
Among her other crowning achievements: she has fearlessly gone nude on the Howard Stern Show and co-starred alongside Oscar winner, Allison Janney, as a regular on Guiding Light where she played a “wacky maid.” Emerging from the darkness of COVID, Tammy has joined forces with director Rachel Lichtman to help bring her latest production Yesterday, Today and TAMAR back to the stage in New York City last fall, and is looking to pick up again this spring.
Could this be the year of Tammy Lang, capturing the hearts and minds of impressionable youth and discerning critics? Find out as we explore how she moved from here to there on this episode of Pipe Dreams.
Louisiana Weed Witches, Swamp Queens & The Spirit of the Bayou: Kush Queen CEO Olivia Alexander
All In The Family: Growing Up in a Weed Brownie Family w/Author Alia Volz of "Home Baked"
Today's guest is Alia Volz, author of Home Baked, My Mom, Marijuana, and The Stoning of San Francisco—a journalistic memoir that came out last year that is a riveting tale worthy of becoming National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist. Alia talks about what it was like growing up in a weed family during the Reagan administration, the racist undertones of the War on Drugs, how the "Sticky Brownies" empire helped San Francisco's first LGBTQ+ medical patients during the AIDS crisis, making decisions based on the occult, and watching the legal landscape shift from a community to a corporate culture.