Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Maya Kendrick, Adult Film Star

Maya Kendrick is a cool ass stoner chick based in L.A., who’s known for her adult film work. We met through mutual friends and I quickly became a fan of her Instagram, which features snapshots from her mellow day-to-day life — hitting the bong, hanging with the cats, lots of hot girl ring light selfies, etc.

Maya entered the smut industry in 2016 and has appeared in hundreds of scenes and movies since. She took a brief hiatus from working this past November to “get mommy milkers” — as she explained on Twitter — so we thought now would be a good time to publish a very fun conversation with the performer and pot lover.

Over the course of an hour phone call, Maya explained how smoking weed in high school felt like a totally different high, bravely admitted that she doesn’t know how to roll joints, and also detailed the first time she tried DMT. She was accompanied by some trippy scientists at a crypto conference, and the bros blabbed about shooting mice with lasers while she laughed her ass off throughout the trip. 

This was a very fun conversation with a very lovely person — thanks Maya!

What was your first time smoking weed like?

Maya Kendrick: My first time smoking weed was on a trail in the park across from my house with a bunch of my friends during the summer after eighth grade. It was in Washington State. So we were smoking weed out of an Arizona Iced Tea can and I remember being very paranoid cuz there was some sort of park maintenance person whose truck was parked nearby. They were wandering around the area and I was like, “We’re gonna get arrested by this park ranger for smoking weed!” I was so scared for absolutely no reason. That man definitely didn’t give a shit.

Did you get stoned during this first time smoking?

I was slightly high, but I was more just in love with the experience of doing something I wasn’t supposed to. I had been so eager to rebel in some fashion. And then the second time I smoked weed was out of a cheap purple plastic bubbler. And that time I got insanely high. I did enjoy the experience. I wasn’t scared or paranoid or anything. I just had a great time, and everything was a million times funnier. I was happy.

Did it become a regular part of your life from then on?

Every Saturday, when I hung out with my friends, we would try to sneak away from whoever’s parents and smoke. We would sit under a blanket on a deck and hotbox it. Back then, we’d get so stoned. Like fucked up. Getting stoned in high school feels like a different drug. It’s different and I wish I could get that stoned now. I have a vivid memory of being high in high school and one of my friends drove me to my house so that I could pick up clothes, and we were already high. And when I left, I kissed my mom on the mouth. I was so stoned, that it seemed normal. I didn’t know how to operate my body normally. And I was like, “She’s going to know I’m high. I haven’t kissed her on the mouth in like eight years!” [laughs]

What’s your day-to-day consumption like today?

Some days I wake up and start smoking right away. Other days, I wait until later in the afternoon. Generally, now, any type of weed I smoke makes me tired. Even if I’m smoking sativas, it makes me sleepy unless I’m also on Adderall. How weed affects me just changed maybe like a year and a half or two years ago. Before, I used to be able to dab. I used to exclusively dab for years. I still do it occasionally, but I don’t do it as my main method of consumption anymore. I feel like I have no tolerance these days. I will smoke a sativa joint and be like, “I need to take a nap. I’m kind of sleepy.”

What’s your preferred way to consume these days?

I smoke out of a bong and I vape a lot. I can’t roll anything, and I’ve never been able to roll anything. And now I feel that that ship has sailed. I live in a state that sells pre-rolls, so why try now? I admire other people who can roll, though. I genuinely think of it as a skill set. My hands just are too dumb — it’s not gonna happen.

Do you have a preferred type of flower, whether a specific strain or just a certain flavor profile?

I actually don’t. I kind of like everything [laughs]. I’ve always just been like, “The more weed, the merrier.” I’ve never had a favorite anything. I like it all. I’ve never felt like, “Oh I want to be this specific type of high.” I’m willing to gamble.

Where do you buy weed in L.A.? Any particular dispensary?

For years, I went to this dispensary deep in the Valley in a strip mall that had no signage or anything. It just said “dispensary.” All the girls there were so hot and I became friends with them all; it still makes me mad that I never got any of their Instagrams. Now, they’re just, like, in the wind. This dispensary didn’t tax anything, and I’m pretty sure they were just very, very sketchy. But the weed was great and reliable. And I went there literally once a week for two and a half, maybe three years. Then I went back one time and everything was gone and it was just boarded up.

What about today? Where do you get your weed?

I immediately pivoted to ordering delivery. Grass Door is my preferred dispensary for delivery. It’s just so easy. They also have sales all the time and I love a sale. It makes me feel better about buying a dumb amount of weed. I’ll buy a few half ounces of different stuff and then I’ll get a few disposable vapes. Sometimes I smoke less weed when I’m busier. Some days, I’ll smoke an eighth. I haven’t smoked flower in like three days. I occasionally try to take a tolerance break. It used to be so hard for me. I couldn’t even think about not smoking for like two days. Today, though, I can take a break if I’m busy — that’s easy. I’ve definitely matured in my relationship with weed, whereas before, I was just like dabbing all day, every day.

Are there any types of weed products, like ephemera, grinders, or pipes that you like?

I really like my grinder. It’s from Sackville and Co. It’s the one that doesn’t have a kief catcher. It’s my favorite. I’ve had it for like a year and a half, and it’s indestructible. I like that you don’t have to grind up weed everyday. I’ll just grind up weed every three days and it will fill the grinder. It was the biggest barrier in getting me to transition from dabbing to flower. I was like, “I have to make myself enjoy this. So let’s get a bong that I like. Let’s get a grinder that I like.” Then it was easier to transition into using flower regularly.

Do you just stick to weed, or do you like psychedelics, too?

I do psychedelics sometimes. I did shrooms once in high school and had a really great experience with it. I just don’t take them regularly because they’re time-consuming. I did acid for the first time last September, and I was super wary of it. I was really nervous. So I only took like half a tab and then like basically nothing happened. Occasionally, I’d be like, “The ground looks a little weird.” [laughs] I’d be into trying more now. I’m no longer scared. 

And then I tried DMT for the first time that same night, and I really liked it. I hit a DMT vape pen. I was at a mountain retreat in Denver after a crypto conference. This guy was really selling me on DMT because he was very into it. He said it only lasts 20 minutes and if you don’t like it, you don’t hit the vape again. So I tried it. I don’t really mind that it tastes like plastic; I can get over that [laughs]. And I had the BEST evening. We were sitting on this deck in the Colorado wilderness watching the sunset and I vaped DMT for like three hours. It was so fun and so funny. 

I didn’t really know any of the people I was with, and they were mostly these insane scientists talking about experiments they used to do on mice where they would shoot them with certain lasers. I was just sitting there laughing — it was funny that they were talking about their actual jobs as scientists. I was just like, “I don’t know why I’m here. I do porn. I am so unqualified to be listening to your science experiment talk.” So I just sat there, did more DMT, looked at my hands, and cracked up. “Thanks for the DMT, babes!” You know?

I’m curious if weed plays a role when you’re performing in adult films. Do you ever smoke before getting to set?

Yeah, I definitely have. I used to always dab before set because by the time my makeup was done, I wouldn’t be as high anymore. I was like, “I’ll just sit there really high and get my makeup done for an hour and a half and then I’ll be slightly less high and I’ll go to work.” So I used to do that all the time. Now I will vape outside on set. But for a long time, I didn’t smoke weed on set because the producers were so strict, specifically like with the girls.

Was it a consent issue thing? Like they were worried you’d be incapacitated or something?

They were worried that I would be a worse performer. They were not worried about consent. They were worried that my performance would suffer. They were more worried my eyes would look fucked up [laughs].

Does weed make you perform differently?

Sometimes it’d make me more comfortable. Like, I can do everything that I can do sober when I am stoned, you know? I don’t think it’s great if I’m doing scenes where I have to do tons of dialogue and acting — weed won’t help me reach my peak performance. But for gonzo stuff, I don’t think it affects me negatively. It’s almost like a background thing. I can be high and do high-performance sex; that’s not an issue. After all, I used to smoke weed at six in the morning and then go to the gym with my old porn agent.

What about in your personal life? Does weed make sex more enjoyable for you?

Yeah. I think I like both. There’s definitely some times when I’d like my head to be as clear as possible. I like being high when I have sex and I like being sober when I have sex. I feel like I do both equally. I smoke weed more before I do escorting work — way more than I smoke weed before shooting porn. I’m generally an anxious person. So whenever I smoke weed, I am typically more relaxed. I was never anxious on set, but I can be when meeting a client. So I usually smoke a little bit before meeting them to calm my own nerves. Not that there’s anything to be nervous about. I’m just a nervous type of person [laughs]. Porn made me nervous during the first 30 scenes or whatever, and now it’s 300 later so I’m not nervous doing it anymore.


What activity do you like to do after you’ve gotten stoned?

I like to do the dishes and laundry when I’m really high. Dishes are my favorite calming activity after I’ve gotten too stoned. Sometimes if I’m really high, I’ll just walk into the kitchen and while it wasn’t my intention to do them, that’s where I end up. It feels nice. It’s meditative. Sometimes I’ll listen to music while doing it; sometimes I won’t listen to anything. Or I’ll do my laundry and then I’ll come inside and I’ll smoke weed and play video games. And then 30 minutes later I get up and fold the laundry. And then I come back and smoke more weed and play more video games. It’s a nice little routine. I’m often accidentally productive when I’m stoned. I’ll get distracted into a productive task.

What about something you like to watch while high? Anything particular?

I really like the YouTube channel Good Mythical Morning. This is kind of a corny answer, but it’s these two dads who have a daily talk show on YouTube that they’ve been doing since I was right out of high school. It’s funny, it’s short. I don’t have to think about anything, and it always makes me laugh hysterically. I’ve been watching it for like over 10 years. I watch it basically everyday without fail.

Have you ever met them or spoken to them online?

I haven’t, but I did fuck one of their employees one time [laughs]. When I first moved to L.A., I followed a bunch of the crew members and show producers on socials. I thought that one of them was really hot, so I followed him on Twitter and then he hit me up one night when he was drunk with his friends. And I was like, “Yes, I need to capitalize on this opportunity. This is what I moved here for: to fuck random crew members from this weird YouTube show.” [laughs] I don’t know if the hosts know who I am now, but I hope the crew member told them, “Hey, me and my friend tag teamed this porn star.”


Do you prefer any type of music or radio shows while stoned?

I generally listen to the last 10 songs that I’ve liked on Spotify. So there are some songs from Father’s new album. I love this song called “If We Were a Party” because it reminds me so much of Miley Cyrus, circa 2012. I can’t get that one out of my head. I’ve also been into hyperpop the last few years. I love the new Harry Styles album. I was a big One Direction fan as a teenager. That’s basically the gist of my music consumption.

Do you like reading while you’re high?

I usually read the news or articles that I see retweeted on my Twitter feed. Whatever catches my eye. I follow a lot of people who are into crypto and stuff and sometimes I’ll just look at somebody’s feed and try to understand what they’re saying [laughs].

If you could smoke anywhere in the world that you have not been to, where would you want to sesh?

If I could go anywhere in the world, I’d go somewhere in Thailand with an infinity pool. Sounds like a nice answer. I just got my passport last year, so I’m eager to travel. Plus, Thailand has reformed its weed laws — no more death penalty! They’re trying to capitalize on the global weed market.

Last question is if you could smoke with any person dead or alive, who would be in your dream blunt rotation?

I’m gonna go with Anthony Bourdain and John Waters. It would just be so interesting. I don’t want to squander this opportunity on someone like Snoop Dogg, though no offense to Snoop Dogg.

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Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Brett Heyman, Founder of Luxury Cannabis Line Edie Parker

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Like her cannabis company’s slogan, Brett Heyman is “here for a good time.” The founder of accessories brand Edie Parker — as well as its luxury cannabis arm, Flower by Edie Parker — has an infectious confidence and sense of humor that exudes “life of the party” energy. 

During a video interview, the brains behind one of the more stylish weed lines had me cracking up in earnest — a rare treat for an introductory chat over Zoom. Edie Parker has been described as the “Coco Chanel of Cannabis,” and that makes sense; Coco was funny on top of being fashionable, too. 

Heyman’s vibe made it very clear how a former fashion exec (she used to spearhead PR at Gucci, and previously worked at Dolce & Gabbana) could achieve the not-so-simple task of merging haute couture and cannabis under one seamless umbrella. The boss knows what she likes and what she wants, from her personal consumption preferences, to her thoughts on design and culture. Her convictions trickle into a cohesive vision, which in turn inspires good products and an exciting brand.

As such, Flower by Edie Parker offers a myriad of products, including tabletop lighters, sexy handmade ashtrays, flavored crush cones, wearable one-hitters, and premium flower (currently sold in Massachusetts and Illinois). Their releases sometimes remind me of Jonathan Adler’s tastefully absurd, drug-inspired decor — but more youthful and femme. In any case, Edie Parker ephemera is ideal for potheads and fashion enthusiasts alike. (They’re also charitable; peep The Edie Parker Foundation.)

In our interview below, Heyman sounds off on how her husband originally sparked her adult relationship with cannabis, explains how the couple does at-home R&D on their pipes, and speculates about the future ties between weed and fashion in NYC.

What was your first time smoking weed? 

Brett Heyman: I haven’t answered this in a while. It’s embarrassing, but I started smoking weed for a boy. I was in high school and I was a little bit afraid of drugs — I had very, very conservative parents. They had me thinking that cannabis was really bad, anything that was illegal was really bad. Certainly any other type of drug was really bad. And I was very into music. I played guitar, I loved the Dead. I loved all these things that made my parents very uncomfortable, so they were distrusting. 

I did a lot of ceramics in high school, and I won the pottery award, so I would come home with ceramic little mushroom things, little pottery pieces that I made. And my dad would always come in and like lift them up because he was always looking for drugs. And the irony is I didn’t do drugs.

And then I had not a boyfriend, but a best friend who I really liked. We were like Ross and Rachel — his words. But he smoked a lot of cannabis. And so I started smoking pot through him when I was in ninth grade. It definitely took me a while to figure out how to use weed in a way that worked for me. I’m still like this as an adult, where less is more for me. I like to have a little bit of cannabis a lot of the time, you know? I never like to be ripping a bong or dabbing. I don’t do any of that. So I have a very good relationship with cannabis now, but it took me a long time to figure it out. 

At what point do you think you fell in love with the plant? When it wasn’t just a rebellion or recreational thing?

I’m gonna sound like such an anti-feminist, but again for a boy [laughs]. A different boy, totally different boy, who’s my husband now. So I had a relationship with cannabis through high school and college, but again, it would be the kind of thing where I’d get really drunk — or I would do other substances — and then I’d smoke cannabis in order to go to bed.

It wasn’t until I lived in New York City that I truly got into cannabis, but it wasn’t immediate. What happened was I went on my first date with my now-husband. I had agreed to go to lunch with him. That day, I didn’t eat breakfast, I exercised in the morning, and then I had two martinis at lunch… and that was it; I never left his side. But after lunch, we decided to go home and watch Almost Famous. He had cannabis at home and I was like, “Oh, I haven’t smoked in a while. Great.” 

We used this ridiculously obnoxious pipe with a girl’s butt on it, which we still have. So I smoked with him and I think it was the first time where it was the right amount of weed. Maybe he had better stuff than I’d tried before. Anyway, it finally felt like having an adult relationship with cannabis. Not getting crazy, but just enjoying the plant in the way that I enjoy it now. So I think I fell in love with it then. We started dating when I was 26, so that’s the age I developed a real relationship with cannabis.

Brett Heyman, photo via Marijuana Venture

What’s your day-to-day use like now? Are you a nighttime smoker? Is it a medicinal tool?

I mean it’s not just medicinal for me; I really like the pleasure aspect, too. I like to smoke either a little bit or have a gummy before I go to bed. Those Wyld gummies are really good for sleep; I love those. But mostly, my relationship with cannabis is still the pleasure of it. So I really love combining sex and cannabis, especially when you’re married for a long time. You just need something to spice it up, and make it feel like, “Oh, this still feels good.” Just kidding [laughs]. We have a house in the country now, and we take a lot of walks. So we’ll smoke a little bit of cannabis and then I’m like, “The green is so beautiful, and it’s different every season!” My husband is my partner in all of that and he loves it. I think it’s really like a pleasure center for me, but I do use it for bed.

I wanted to ask you about the Edie Parker flower line. Do you have any current favorite strains?

The real, tough truth is that I don’t get a lot of Edie Parker all the time because we only sell it in Massachusetts and Illinois. So no, I don’t have a favorite Edie Parker strain, unfortunately. But I think our goal is to offer flower that inspires really consistent, good experiences — not just weed that will knock you off your chair. So things like THC percentages in the low 20s. As I said, I don’t like to be so stoned where I can’t see straight and have to lie down. So it’s about offering a consistent experience. Obviously, sometimes I want to feel headier or sometimes I want a body high, but both are options with the flower we sell. 

Do you have a preferred consumption method when you do use flower?

I like to smoke. Well, I like to smoke a joint, but just like a little bit — for me, one or two puffs of a joint is perfect. And that is my favorite consumption method. I’ve never talked about my husband so much in an interview, but we also have this really romantic tradition where our brand makes a lot of pipes, so we are always testing them. Very sweetly, he likes to fill up the pipe for me, light it, and then give me all the cool smoke after he takes the hot hit. That’s so thoughtful. No one ever did that for me before, but he always does it. He’s like, “Oh, let me hit it first, and then you just take all that beautiful, cool smoke.” So we do that a lot — R&D for our products, as a couple.

Of all the ancillary products that you make, which one do you personally use most? 

Um, I’m kind of lame. I’m not like a good joint roller, so I use the pipes a lot. But also, we have these cones that I think are great — and we just launched crush cones, which have a flavor profile. I like those and think it’s really nice to have something that’s functional and quick and New York-y. I like things to be quick and efficient, so I like the cones and use them. I like the pipes, obviously. I also love our tabletop lighters and have one in every room. They’re really pretty, there’s an ashtray built in, and they’re handmade. They’re labor-intensive products that last forever. They combine our heritage of being this handbag and accessory brand that went into cannabis. So products like this have that obvious marriage and compatibility. I just love these things.

Edie Parker one-hitter necklaces

Are there any brands out there that you think are kindred spirits to Edie Parker? Brands that you respect what they’re doing.

I mean, I respect everybody that’s doing it because it’s so hard for sure. But I love Pure Beauty and think they’re doing interesting things culturally. Their collaborators are interesting, their photographers are interesting. I think that’s amazing and I love that. And what I think we do is help with that conversation around the mainstream-ification of cannabis, like using collaborators from different industries — whether fashion or art — to just put a different spin on cannabis. Pure Beauty does that, too. 

I also like Houseplant. I think they’re doing an incredible job with accessories. They have very different aesthetics than us, but their stuff is amazing. Seth [Rogen] has really created something special and popular; it is amazing how their stuff sells out so quickly. I also really like 1906. I love a 2.5mg THC product, so I really like the THC pills they make.

I would say you’re one of the pioneers or trailblazers when it comes to combining fashion and cannabis in a high-level way. I’m curious if you think that type of synergy between fashion and cannabis will continue to either evolve or feel more omnipresent in the future.

Totally. But it’s a layered answer because a thousand percent I think it’ll happen more. First off, one of the reasons fashion is important is because it’s very much reflective of what’s happening at a specific time. Maybe we don’t always see it, but we do when we look back in the rearview mirror. So I think fashion is important in that way. And I think that what is happening now culturally, with social justice and criminal justice reform and all that… cannabis is what’s happening. So I think there will be more synergies with fashion because of that. 

I also think that New York will be transformative. I think there are so many fashion creatives working in New York. I think there are so many creatives, many whom I know personally, and they smoke a ton of cannabis. And now that New York has legalization, soon there will be a lot of people in fashion who dip a toe in the cannabis space, whether through collaborations or otherwise. I think that will absolutely happen. Culturally, these things will be synergistic and really important.

I’m noticing it myself. Like Laquan Smith had a fashion week party, and a delivery service I know was there giving out pre-rolls. That felt like something that would not have happened five years ago.

Totally, Laquan Smith, Brandon Blackwood, and others. These are people who are very public about their cannabis use. They’re giving out cannabis at events. They will definitely do cannabis collabs. They’ll partner with somebody and have a cannabis launch. So I think, yes, absolutely. I don’t think big brands like any LVMH brands will touch it for years, but I think it will absolutely continue to happen with the independent creators in New York.

Is there any activity that you like to do when you’re really high? Whether a particular hike, digging on Etsy, or going to a particular restaurant with your husband?

I don’t like to go to restaurants when I’m stoned. I like to watch TV in bed. I like to take walks in our backyard. We have lots of trees and pretty flowers in Connecticut, so I like to do that. As I said, I like to have sex while high. And then shopping while high is a real problem for me. It happens a lot, especially when I smoke to go to bed and then I sort of delay going to bed and instead buy a fuck ton of stuff online. I end up having to return so much. My penchant for shopping online while high can be problematic.

What about something you like to watch when you’re stoned? You mentioned The Real Housewives before, but what city?

Okay, great, thank you for asking that specific question. I need to watch that show if I’m too high because it calms me down like nothing else. I find Housewives very comforting. I don’t like the weird, Jesus-y Republican cities. So I don’t like OC. I don’t like Dallas. But I love Beverly Hills, New York, Atlanta, Potomac, and New Jersey.

I love The Real Housewives because the show makes me laugh. I make this joke that there are no roles for women in Hollywood over 40 other than the Housewives. This is where all these women go to work and die at a certain age. And they’re just so unaware of the joke. They take themselves so seriously, and I find that to be a trainwreck that I cannot stop watching. I think feeling compelled to watch it all the time is a real waste and I will never get those hours back, but I love it.

What do you like to listen to when stoned?

Definitely music, not so much podcasts. I have a problem where I feel like music stopped being good after the mid-90s. I’m having a big Mr. Mister resurgence, which is very weird. It’s a little bit like my high shopping where I’ll hear a song, it will remind me of a whole genre that I haven’t listened to in a while, and then I’ll do a deep download and have a whole ’80s or ‘90s-era dance party by myself. I am a real secret singer by myself, too. So anything that I can sing at the top of my lungs. So I’m listening to Annie Lennox again, as well as music that I can dance and sing to alone. That makes me very happy.

What do you like to read when high? Any books, magazines, or particular writers?

I read articles in The New Yorker and The Atlantic, but it takes me days. I’m a slow reader. I just bought the new David Sedaris essay book and I’m obsessed with him. So anything humorous like that. If I’m high at night and I’m not shopping, I’ll read something like that to go to bed. I like to read the news. It’s a tug of war with myself because I get sad reading the news and it makes it hard to get out of bed after, but I feel that I have to be informed and confront what’s happening. So I read a lot of news.

My last question is if you could have a dream blunt sesh with anyone alive or dead, who would be at your pot party?

Who do I like? I like a humorist. So I feel like someone like David Sedaris would be fun, although I don’t know how fun he would be when high. Who do I admire? Maybe someone like John Lennon, who I’d just like to meet. Also, John Waters, Jesus, and Chris Hemsworth (but only as Thor).

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Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Zach Harris, Weed and Skate Writer

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I am proud to share my name with Zach Harris, even if weed industry people sometimes get us confused. After all, I regularly worked with the Philly-based writer for years while I was editor at Merry Jane. Harris was one of our main contributors, and we’d often be CC’ed on the same emails, so marijuana media mix-ups were par for the course. 

But ZH is his own man — a unique Zach with strong convictions, a well-oiled cortex, and the lungs of an ultra-marathon runner. For real, this guy can smoke some fucking weed. It always blew my mind that the dude would chief at least a dozen or two joints a day, yet still be awake before me and always hit his deadlines. 

Me and Harris collaborated a lot, including on several features I’m proud of to this day: His screed against “moon rocks,” caviar, and tarantula joints; a deep dive into the secondary market for rare and discontinued Backwoods flavors; and the very first investigation of the “mysterious vaping illness” (later dubbed EVALI) which was spurred by fake and bootleg THC cartridges. This last scoop went viral and led to coverage on Rolling Stone, NYPost, and countless other publications before the topic became a national news item. 

These days, Harris still writes about weed and skating for publications like Complex, but mostly does consulting and copywriting for cannabis brands like Cookies, Viola, Elyon, and more. Not too long ago, he conceived and executed an exclusive partnership between Cookies and Spitfire Wheels, celebrating pro skater Kader Sylla. Zach is also very good at Twitter and is a must-follow for anyone who’s into authentic cannabis culture.

We’re grateful to consider Harris a pal and co-conspirator, and the weed lord made some time to talk about his pot preferences with Cash Only. In a fun interview, Zach discusses his morning joint rolling rigamarole, shouts out some heady growers, and also gives the nod to his brother Malcolm’s upcoming book. The Harris family is full of heads, what can I say! Big ups to Zach H. — you’re a real-deal stoner with a beautiful brain.

Photo by Zach Sokol

Do you have a current favorite weed strain? How do you like to consume it?

Zach Harris: Lately, I’ve been smoking a lot of sun-grown First Class Funk and Horchata my family grew in NorCal and then some indoor London Pound Cake. I try to switch up flavors pretty frequently, but I’m typically into the more funky, gassy, savory strains. 

Consumption-wise, I’m usually smoking a bong or dab rig at home and then personal-sized joints whenever I’m outside. We’re still in a pandemic, so I’m not passing my joints to anyone, but I’ll usually have enough on hand to give you your own persy joint if I like you. Sometimes, I smoke joints at home instead of the bong. I’ve also been rolling a lot of hash holes lately, which is just a joint with a rope of rosin in the middle — very heady and popular these days. They’re great for when I’m really trying to smack myself in the face. In general, I like to roll joints.

Zach Harris’ joint case is always this full.

What’s your day-to-day consumption like? Bring us through a day in the life of your lungs.

I’m definitely an all-day smoker; I like the label “stoner.” In the morning, I try to match my French press with a bowl or joint for each cup of coffee from like 8 am to noon, so that gets the day going. Then I’ll roll about 8 or 10 joints before I leave the house. I have this cool joint case that I got at a flea market a while back, and I feel a little naked if I’m out and I don’t have that with me at least half-way full. I also think the process of rolling joints is really meditative — you get in a good zone. 

If I’m at home most of the day working, I’ll keep packing bong bowls or doing dabs pretty steadily. And then if I’m out and about, I’m smoking those 10ish joints I rolled earlier at the regular pace of a cigarette smoker — like half a pack a day haha. I used to smoke a bunch of cigarettes when it was less acceptable to smoke weed in public, but like five or six years ago I quit cold turkey and just replaced that habit with more weed. Plus, these days no one gives you shit for smoking weed in public, so I just keep smoking my joints. If I’m outside and I run out of rolled ones, I usually have enough supplies in my tote bag to roll more, so I’ll do that.


Do you have any favorite weed products — any particular papers, grinders, or whatever? What makes them special? 

I’m a big fan of simplicity and simple stuff that works. I like a two chamber grinder. I don’t need a keef catcher; I want the keef to stay with the weed, where it belongs. I usually roll with 1 ¼ size Vibes or Element papers with the Raw perforated wide tips. Those perforated wide tips are key. I want the crutch on my joints to be the size of a cigarette filter, not a tiny nub that you can’t actually hold between your fingers. 

At home I use a bong from Heir. They sent me one in 2019 when I was writing a lot of product reviews and I’ve sworn by it since. It’s incredibly easy to clean, super sturdy, and works every time. The other product I use a lot from my time on PR seeding lists is the PuffCo Peak Pro. Don’t need to say much about that one; it’s a spaceship dab rig and it is perfect.

Last but not least, my parents live out in California and they have a friend who’s a sick woodworker, and she recently carved me a custom rolling tray, so I use that every day. Thanks mom and dad!

The custom rolling tray Harris uses.

Which cannabis brands impress you these days — whether due to their products, their aesthetics, or something else.

Honestly, most of the flower I smoke comes from a super small unbranded family farm, but when it comes to branded weed, the two California companies I’ve worked closest with — Cookies and Viola — have impressed me with their product, but also the people and approach. As a freelancer, I would also like to say that they both pay on time, which is way cooler than any packaging. 

As far as other branded flower, I really dig the Mom’s Weed from Huckleberry Hill Farms in Humboldt, Gummiez and The Menthol from Compound Genetics, and I’m really stoked to check out the new menu of strains from my friends at The Rare — their Olive Wagyu is one of my favorite Gelato profiles and their packaging is always some of my favorite.

I also recently tried a couple strains from Green Bodhi that were both really great — shoutout to those guys, they’re doing things right.

Zach Harris at Washington Square Park on 4/20/22

What activity do you like to do after you’ve gotten stoned? 

I’ve been really into bowling lately, and taking joint breaks every few games is a really good way to get your head right. Same with the beer league softball I’ve been playing lately. Smoking a joint between innings in the dugout is great. I also like skateboarding, biking, and going on walks while I’m smoking weed. The best stuff to do while you’re stoned is the stuff you can do while you’re actively smoking, because I’m always gonna want to smoke another one. I’m the guy who is always gonna ask “Can we smoke here?” no matter what we’re doing, so whenever the answer is yes, that’s what I wanna be doing. 

Can you recommend something to watch while stoned?

Can’t go wrong with TV procedurals. Whether it’s Monk, Burn Notice, Law & Order (any flavor), or Hawaii 5-0, the best shows to watch while you’re stoned are things that you can watch without much context. So many of the premium cable or streaming site shows are just overly dramatic roads to nowhere, man. They’re all so dark — like not even in content, but in how they’re shot; I can barely see what’s going on half the time. Much better off with a few episodes from season 3 of the early 2000s network dramedy Las Vegas starring Jimmy Caan — he’ll spend 45 minutes sussing out a gang of motocross-riding card counters or something like that. Much chiller.

What do you like to listen to after smoking? Any albums, radio shows, or podcasts?

I think we’re in a pretty incredible golden era of rap music in every corner of the country. I’ve been listening to a lot of the Detroit wave like Veeze, Icewear Vezzo, GT, Babyface Ray, 42, and those dudes. Then the Flint guys, like Rio, Sleazy World Go from Kansas City, and Memphis heads like Glorilla, Key Glock, and of course Young Dolph. Ummmm, Fivio, DThang, and the scene in New York is cool. I’m also still listening to a lot of Drakeo the Ruler and Ralphy — that LA sound. Then finally, I like the scene of guys killing it out here in Philly — OT7Quanny, Poundside Pop, RB Cat, and a bunch more. There’s so much good music out right now.

Can you recommend something to read after smoking? 

Can I ever! My brother, Malcolm Harris, is getting set to release his third book, Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World, in 2023, so you should pre-order that now. And while you’re at it, grab his first two books, Kids These Days: The Making of Millennials and Shit Is Fucked Up and Bullshit: History Since the End of History. Yes, he’s my brother, but he’s also an incredible thinker, writer, and stoner, who has an uncanny ability to break down super complex subjects in a way that is fun, funny, and radicalizing. If you’re bummed at how things are going in the world and you want to know how they got this way, Malcolm’s books will make some things click. Seriously, go buy all his books right now. 

I’ve also recently read a couple books by some skate friends that are really awesome. The Most Fun Thing from professor Kyle Beachy is a great compilation of short essays about life, love, and skateboarding. And Top of Mason is a novel by pro skater Walker Ryan that reads super fun and fast. I read it on the beach in Miami and it was perfect.

Who’s in your dream blunt rotation? Dead or alive. 

Gotta give an obligatory shoutout to my family, because they all smoke just about as much weed as I do, but we don’t all live in the same city. So when we all get together, those are my dream sessions. 

But that’s not a very fun answer, so let’s go with John Cardiel, Klay Thompson, Kylie Minogue, Young Dolph, and Megan Thee Stallion. That would be a sick crew.

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Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Melissa A. Vitale, the OG Weed and Sex Publicist

This article was originally published on Cash Only. Sign up for the newsletter here and follow Cash Only on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter.

Melissa A. Vitale is one of the rare publicists whose emails I will read start-to-finish, regardless of the topic. The brains and namesake behind the firm MAVPR and Pressboxx has a gift for making press outreach feel intimate, fun, and collaborative. There are no guilt-trips, passive aggressive follow-ups, or desperate “spray and pray” approaches from the cannabis and sexual wellness expert. Part of the reason she’s so good at her job is that Melissa makes an active effort to get familiar with writers and their personal interests, so when she does reach out, it’s usually about something up my alley.

And damn does MAV get results! I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen glowing, authentic coverage of her clients in top-tier outlets— from Rolling Stone and New York Mag, to the New York Post and Fox fucking News — and smiled to myself, knowing Melissa was the low-key finesser behind the scenes. And, as her site notes, the coverage usually focuses on “education over sensation,” which is essential for normalizing plant medicine and sex positivity in mainstream media. 

Melissa has overseen campaigns for admirable cannabis companies like Her Highness, Binske, Elixinol, and TOCA, as well as sextech and luxury intimacy brands like Pure for Men, ZALO, and Upko. She also rolls one of the best spliffs in New York and will treat you like royalty if you’re lucky enough to have a meeting at her home office (which has not one, but two epic balconies). 

The Italian stallion also has great taste, and she generously made some time to chat with Cash Only about her weed preferences. Below, MAV breaks down her perfect spliff recipe, recommends a crystal ball pipe, and flexes her pot picnic chops — an activity she can get ready for in a matter of minutes. Thanks Melissa, you are a ganja goddess and an amazing human <3

Photo by Chad Johnson, courtesy of Melissa A. Vitale

Do you have a current favorite weed strain? How do you like to consume it?

Melissa A. Vitale: For the past three years my go-to strain has been Space Queen. I’m a spliff enthusiast — 95% Space Queen with roughly 5% Danish Export Tobacco, hand-rolled in Bob Marley classic rolling paper with a RAW Classic tip. I’ll be cutting out tobacco by my next birthday and I’m looking forward to switching up my consumption methods. 

Do you have any favorite weed products — any particular papers, grinders, or whatever?

Neither of these recs are clients of mine, but I was recently given a Grounded Crystal Ball Pipe from Sackville & Co, and after figuring out how to smoke it, it quickly became my favorite piece in my house. Like tons of other folks in cannabis media, the Flower Mill has also captivated my heart; if you identify as a regular consumer or stoner, I recommend the Premium Flower Mill

Photo by Maria Wurtz

Which cannabis brands excite you from a marketing/PR perspective? What companies or public figures are killing it in terms of their online presence? 

I love brands like Her Highness, DomPen, and KIVA who are finding ways to incorporate their brand ethos into compliant packaging. Cannaclusive is an incredible organization with an awesome online footprint and engaging community — plus, their co-founder Mary Pryor is a boss babe who I’m perpetually in awe of.

Does weed help you professionally? How do you utilize the plant during office hours — what tasks does it help with?

I smoke throughout my work day; cannabis helps me stay focused, creative, and drowns out the distractions.

Photo by Zach Sokol

What activity do you like to do after you’ve gotten stoned? 

I’m an avid picnic’er. I can be ready with a blanket, cooler bag, speaker, snacks, a bottle of wine, and spliffs in a matter of minutes. Let me know where to meet you! I’ll smoke while in transit and then settle in to smoke, eat, drink, and enjoy the outdoors all day. 

Can you recommend something to watch after smoking?

I’ve been having a bit of a Matthew McConaughey moment, so stuff like Fool’s Gold, We Are Marshall, and Lincoln Lawyer have been my recent go-tos.

Photo by Zach Sokol

What do you like to listen to after smoking? Any albums, radio shows, or podcasts?

My music taste is all over the place. I’ll listen to anything from rap to country, with an embarrassing amount of Taylor Swift in between. 

Can you recommend something to read when high?

If you’re into romance and fantasy, check out Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe, a gorgeous graphic novel series about Hades and Persephone.  

Who’s in your dream blunt rotation? Dead or alive. 

It’s on my bucket list to have Snoop Dog smoke one of my spliffs. For a dead sesh, I’d have to pick Jesus.

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Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Ondine Viñao, Artist and Filmmaker

This article was originally published on Cash Only. Sign up for the newsletter here and follow Cash Only on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter.

Photos by Rebekah Campbell, courtesy of Ondine Viñao.

Ondine Viñao is an artist and filmmaker born and raised in NYC. We went to college together, and I always thought she was one of the most intelligent and self-realized people around — one of those students who you just knew would go on to do something cool. 

We’ve stayed in touch over the years, and I became a big fan of her multidisciplinary art practice, particularly her 2019 solo show Holy Fools. The exhibition reimagined Bruce Nauman’s infamous Clown Torture (1987) by employing female clowns to explore trauma, gender tropes, and the very well-chosen term “juvenescence.” The nine-channel video installation blew my mind all over my face — despite paying homage to a well-known artist and work, Holy Fools felt like anything but pastiche (an admirable feat if you ask me!).

Viñao has continued her art practice and exhibited work around the U.S. and abroad. She can also take a mean photo. Currently, Ondine’s working on a fresh video art piece, as well as doing pre-production for her first narrative feature. She’s keeping the plot specs vague, but I’m certain it will be a home run like the rest of her oeuvre. 

Ondine also has an interesting relationship with weed, as her use of the plant only started to blossom in the past couple years. She wasn’t much of a smoker until the pandemic, when partying was obviously not on the menu, and her boyfriend began growing bud in their backyard. Slowly but surely, she began using the plant to help unwind in the evening, as well as aid her writing, brainstorming, and mood-boarding for her various art projects. 

In a long and fun interview with Cash Only, the artist and filmmaker discusses the homegrown grass she was rolling up throughout quarantine, details the very specific (and hilarious) Pinterest boards she makes when deep in the haze, and then GOES IN on her recommendations for movies to watch while stoned. Finally, Ondine outlines her very amazing dream blunt rotation involving the feminist scholar Catherine MacKinnon and iconoclastic actress Hedy Lamarr, which may be the best response to the question I’ve received to date.

Big ups and big thanks to Ondine! And an additional thanks to Rebekah Campbell, who took killer new photos of Ondine just for this interview!

What was your first time smoking weed like?

Ondine Viñao: My first time smoking weed? Um, probably horrifying. I smoked salvia before I ever smoked weed. I was in high school, maybe age 14. St. Mark’s Place sold salvia and my friends and I would do whatever we had access to. So we would either get salvia or we would go to this one hookah bar in the East Village that didn’t card. But salvia was the first thing I smoked. There was a couple month period beginning in freshman year when that was popular — once again because of the accessibility. I can’t remember the first time I smoked weed, but I was never really a weed smoker — at least up until the pandemic.

So quarantine sparked your relationship with weed?

Mm-hmm. Pre-pandemic, my weed smoking was mostly limited to myself, or sometimes with a best friend or my dad. And I’d only smoke if I was in for the night and it was right before bed. I couldn’t even take out the garbage afterwards cuz I would get too anxious or paranoid about potentially running into a stranger [laughs]. But during the pandemic I got into it. My boyfriend had a garden in the backyard at our old apartment; he’s not a weed smoker at all, but he does like to garden and he likes challenges, and growing weed is kind of a fickle business. So he decided to grow weed in our backyard for the fun of it. And then he’d give the weed to me and friends or whoever. So, that kind of accelerated my weed usage.

It always scared me to smoke and then socialize, so the pandemic removed that fear and led to me smoking more. I felt more comfortable getting stoned, knowing that I had nowhere to go. And then weed started meshing better with me than it had before. I started using it like how I would recreationally use alcohol, like as a nightcap or whatever. I still occasionally drink, on weekends or at parties and stuff like that, but now I’m never really having alcohol at home. I’m using weed instead.

How was the weed that your boyfriend grew? Did you like his homegrown?

Totally. I hope I’m gonna recount this correctly. He grew two types. One was an autoflower. The other wasn’t an autoflower, and I think it was an Afghan strain. They were very beautiful plants, too. They grew very tall because our backyard got wonderful light, so he was able to harvest a ton from it. We had a bunch of our friends over when the plants were ready to do all of the clipping. 

The weed was great because it felt a lot lighter than other weed that I’ve tried. I like to smoke joints or spliffs kind of like a cigarette. Maybe I’m putting it out like two times throughout the joint. I’m not into taking one big hit and then putting it out. I enjoy the act of smoking, so his weed was nice. You wouldn’t get too obliterated. But we’re out of his weed now sadly.

I feel like I should know more about the differences among strains and whatnot, but I kind of have difficulty really sensing the differences… with the exception of weed which is really indica heavy. I try to steer clear of that. I like to smoke and do things, even though I only smoke at night. I don’t wanna stare at the wall. I wanna watch a movie and pay attention. I wanna be able to read, I wanna clean, you know? I don’t want to be bedridden from smoking [laughs].

Does weed enhance your creativity? Does it help inspire you with ideas that benefit your art practice?

100%. There are drawbacks, too, but that’s one of the benefits of weed for me. The majority of my art process or my filmmaking process is writing, and I can sometimes struggle with “pre-judging” whatever I’m about to write. And that can kind of paralyze me creatively, and prevent me from actually writing anything at all. I overthink things, and weed can kind of relax that for me and allow me to brainstorm and write without too much of my own perfectionist (or control obsessed) tendencies getting in the way. Because then, at least, I can always tell myself, “Oh, I was stoned when I wrote this.” So if it’s trash, I can just throw it away and blame it on the weed, but then if it’s good (or if it could be good), then great, look what I did! And I was stoned [laughs].

So outside of relaxing or the creative brainstorm, do you have any particular activities you like doing once you’re really high?

This is tough to answer because a lot of the stuff that is an activity, I would consider part of my creative practice. Like, watching movies, for example, is something which I like to do when I’m stoned. I like walking and listening to music. It sounds pretty obvious and maybe kind of corny, but music truly is the one thing that I think sounds 100% better when you’re stoned. Weed makes cooking a little bit more fun for me. I love to bake but I don’t really love to cook. But smoking before or during cooking can help and makes the process more enjoyable.

I also go on internet holes in all the directions. I love using Pinterest when I’m high. And I have two reasons I’ve been into that recently, and they’re very different reasons [laughs]. So, I’m in pre-production for a short film slash proof of concept for a feature. I have been so focused on everything film-related that I thought I should have a platform devoted entirely to “fine art” inspiration. I have two boards on Pinterest and one of them is of visual art inspiration for the short I’m working on. And it includes paintings, video art, photographs I like, anything that I think could come in handy when deciding how to compose a shot, or something that might make a good kind of insert for the project. I’m trying to get out of just looking at “film stuff” and make sure I’m also pulling inspiration from less traditional sources. My board helps me focus more exclusively on visual art.

And the other thing I use Pinterest for is… haircuts [laughs]. It’s funny because I only get very minimalist, normal haircuts, and it’s always a version of the same thing — at least for the past five years. But I still believe that my perfect haircut — the one that’s gonna make me the best version of myself — is out there. I probably have at least 300 pins in the haircut folder. It’s particularly insane and neurotic of me. They are all variations of a bob. Every pin is a variation of a collarbone-to-chin length brunette haircut. If you looked at all of them, you’d think they’re probably all the same haircut. But they’re not! [laughs]

What type of music resonates with you when you’re baked?

I listen to the same stuff when I’m stoned as when I’m not stoned. I pretty much listen to the same music I listened to in high school. Recently, I’ve been listening to The Magic Flute chronologically. This sounds pretentious, but it’s my honest answer. My dad is a classical music composer, so this is the kind of music that I have been exposed to on a very consistent basis since I was a baby. It’s comfortable to me, though I realize that maybe intense classical music might be overwhelming to your average stoner. It’s not overwhelming for me because of how long it’s been a part of my life.

What is something you like to watch while you’re really high? 

I have a couple suggestions. The first one I think is perfect for someone who is stoned because weed puts you in the right headspace to accept the information you’re being given — and it’s a short film, so it’s great for those with weed-induced ADHD. It’s a David Lynch short from 2002 called Darkened Room. You can find it on YouTube, though the quality is bad. It’s great and it’s very bizarre. It kind of has a rhythm to it if that makes sense. You don’t really need to take a magnifying glass to the plot. You know how David Lynch movies function; they’re already kind of existing in an alternate reality. So I think it will resonate with someone who’s slightly incapacitated.

I also cannot miss out on an opportunity to sing the praises of one of my favorite films ever, Showgirls. It’s great to watch when you’re stoned or sober.  I could, and have in a sense, written dissertations on this film. It is amazing, and not in a “so bad it’s good” way. It’s a wonderfully-made, smart movie about topics that I care a lot about — like the pain of being a woman, and the entertainment industry. It’s a highly intentional feminist masterpiece. I don’t think it’s camp or ironic or anything like that. I think that it gets misinterpreted or at least did in the past because it flopped at the box offices when it came out, and it ruined the career of the lead actress Elizabeth Berkeley — who was an A-lister prior to 1996 (the year Showgirls was released). After this movie, her agents wouldn’t even return her calls because of how much everyone hated the film.

So then I have one more movie suggestion, which could either be perfect or terrifying, depending on the person. It depends on how they interact with weed. Mirror by Tarkovsky, which is kind of like an extended video art piece to me. It’s a collection of memories. Some seem to exist in the real world. Other ones seem more like dreams. It’s real artsy like that, plus the visuals are gorgeous. I tend to think that things that are aesthetically pretty are good things to watch when you are stoned. And this applies to Showgirls, too, which is an aesthetically beautiful film.

One last question — who is in your dream blunt rotation? Alive or dead.

How many people do I get?

As many as you’d like, it’s your party.

Okay. Let’s start with alive. I’m gonna say Catherine MacKinnon. The lawyer and feminist scholar. She was part of my entry point into becoming a trans-inclusive radical feminist, and thinking about society in terms of how it treats women and what it means to be a woman myself.

Kanye West would also be there. Nicholas Cage. Paul Verhoeven. Chomsky before he’s dead. And then I’m going to throw Pope Francis in there because I have to rep Argentina. Also, Cornel West, so we have two Wests. Then, let’s add Lars Von Trier. I think this crew would be really fun. I like that they all have strong personalities, but I wonder if anyone could get a word in?

Amazing. Who would be in your dead sesh?

I know for certain I want Hedy Lamarr in my dead blunt rotation. She is the coolest person ever and had the wildest life I’ve ever heard of. She was a very famous movie star back in the day. When she first debuted in an American film in American cinemas, there were reports of people literally fainting over how beautiful she was. She also was an Albert Einstein-level genius. She helped develop what would eventually become Bluetooth and WiFi. For fun, she would fix Herbert Hoover’s planes (they dated briefly). She was married like seven times. And she was jewish, but her first marriage was to a Nazi who was best friends with Mussolini, and she escaped him by drugging their maid and putting on the maid’s clothing and taking the maid’s bicycle and running away.

In her middle age, she got addicted to plastic surgery and they didn’t have all of the procedures that she wanted, so she invented them herself and then the surgeons would perform them on her. And they’re still plastic surgery techniques that are used today. At the end of her life, she was a full hermit and would only communicate with people over the phone, including her children. She lived the wildest life out of anyone, and therefore Hedy Lamarr’s at the top of my list for my dead blunt rotation. Then I want to add Stanley Kubrick and my dearly departed grandparents (both paternal and maternal), for good measure.

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Brian Blomerth’s Last Rip: Why The Illustrator Quit Weed After a Dave Matthews Concert

This article was originally published on Cash Only. Sign up for the newsletter here and follow Cash Only on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter.

Brian Blomerth is a brilliant artist and arguably the premier psychedelics illustrator this side of the Mississippi. A torch carrier of R. Crumb and other heavy hitters from the underground comix scene, Blomerth has become the go-to Micron maestro for anything pertaining to plant medicine and related subcultures, including recent commissions by The Grateful Dead, Phish, and Tame Impala

More importantly, Blomerth is the author/illustrator behind the two greatest visual histories on mind-altering substances: Bicycle Day, his faithful retelling of how LSD was invented, and Mycelium Wassonii, which tracks how magic mushrooms were introduced to Western culture. As I wrote in an earlier article about these tripped-out tomes, these are perfect children’s books (at least in format) that are made for adults who are curious about psychedelics and their evolution throughout the U.S. zeitgeist. Both are essential reads, and you should buy a copy here!!!

These intros can sometimes be a bit long-winded, and I could write a whole book on the ingenious nature of Blomerth’s craft, so I’ll try and keep things brief. I have worked as Brian’s editor and co-conspirator on and off since 2014 — he used to pen a weekly comic for me when I was working at VICE, as well as different one when I was editing Merry Jane — and I’ve written about him and his work numerous times. He’s also a close friend and one of the best storytellers I’ve ever met. 

Due to his reputation as the “trippy illustrator guy,” you’d maybe expect Brian to be a regular consumer of the substances he renders in pupil-dilating ink. But alas! Despite making art for pot brands and cranking out dozens of comics about a weed-smoking firedog, Blomerth himself avoids the devil’s lettuce. (He does, however, make it a tradition to consume acid or mushrooms at least once per calendar year.)

I’ve always known that Brian does not enjoy smoking weed, but I was never quite sure why. I had a feeling there was a good story behind his breakup with the plant, and decided to call him up to learn the backstory for this edition of Cash Only. As expected, the tale behind his last hurrah with marijuana was stranger than fiction and undoubtedly “Blomerthian.” Turns out that a fateful, nightmarish experience at a Dave Matthews concert was what scared him straight. 

I don’t want to spoil any more details, so you’ll just have to read on. Big shouts to Blomerth. I’ll never ask you to hit the spliff, but I still prefer to be in your company while I’m really baked.

Blomerth photographed on Halloween a while back by Zach Sokol
A Brian Blomerth weed illustration commissioned for Merry Jane way back

What’s up, Mr. Blomerth? Let’s talk about your relationship with weed.

Brian Blomerth: When I first started working for you at Merry Jane, I remember you asked me, “Are you pro weed or anti weed? As long as it’s one of the two, we’re good. Doesn’t matter which” [laughs].

That is correct. Let’s jump back a second, though. What was your first time smoking weed like?

Shit, man. I remember people in high school doing the “honey blunt-in-the-microwave” type of garbage. 

What’s a honey blunt?

You’ve never heard of a honey blunt? Are you kidding me? Am I insane? You roll a blunt, then break open the Dutch Master and put a little honey on it, and then it briefly goes in the microwave. You microwave it for like two seconds and then smoke the thing. I remember some kid in my high school being like [*nasally voice*] “And thaaaat’s a honey blunt!”

My friend’s mom was gone so we smoked a honey blunt at her place. Then I watched my friends skateboard terribly in front of the house. I was maybe 15. I think I got high, but I don’t remember it being anything special or whatever.

RIP Slippy Syrup. Photo by Zach Sokol
Brian Blomerth and Kate Levitt (GOATs), photo by Zach Sokol

What about the first time you were actually stoned, like memorably stoned?

It had to be in college. Those are the weed experiences that really stick out to me and have good tales related to them. Are you ready for this? One of the first times I remember getting very, very high was in college and I was looking at all my own drawings. I was like, “What the fuck is this shit?” It was a real confrontation with my ego. I was staring at my work and thought, “It’s unfair to make anyone look at this garbage.”

There was another time, or more like a week, when I was into hash. We were smoking hash and went to a river, and my friend put his two fingers in his mouth to make himself gag — like, as a bit — but him doing that made me actually throw up. And I was pissed because I had just eaten a nice sandwich for lunch. “Goddamn it! I’ll be starving in an hour.” 

Did you enjoy being high, despite the vomiting situation?

I think so, yeah. There was another time that week where I smoked a bunch of weed, ate a whole bag of Doritos, and then also threw up. It was fine, but looking at my drawings while high made me way too paranoid. It was too confusing for me. It didn’t change my art practice or anything, but it just freaked me out [laughs]. 

One of Brian’s panels from a “Frisbee F.D.” comic we did, back when I was editing Merry Jane

At what point were you like, “This shit is not for me. I don’t like weed”?

I can tell you the exact moment, and this story’s wild. I was working at the dorms at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. This woman comes up to me and is like, “Hey, I’m giving staff members free tickets to see Dave Matthews in this basketball stadium, do you want them?”

I said, “Yes, give me 8 tickets,” and she said, “OK, cool.” 

So she gives me 8 tickets to see a Dave Matthews acoustic set. Me and my whole cadre of friends were like, “Hell yes. It’s time to smoke some fucking WEED before we go to this thing.” 

Apparently, we smoked so much weed that one of my friends was convinced we’d also done Robitussin. That’s how high we were; he thought we were Robo-Tripping. I know for a fact that we had just smoked weed, though. No, sir, it was just weed. 

So we go to the basketball stadium, and Dave comes out and he’s going nuts. It’s just Dave and this other acoustic guy, but the other guy has all these filters and shit so he can make his guitar sound like a violin or whatever. But the show starts, and all these frat guys are grinding on their girlfriends super intensely. Immediately, I was thinking, “This is too fucking heavy for me. This is insane.” This was before Obama got elected, right? And here’s where things get a little offensive and crazy…

Brian Blomerth, photographed by Zach Sokol

Please, continue…

Dave was wasted out of his brain, and I don’t know if you know anything about him, but he’s an on-and-off alcoholic. He cut his teeth in Charlottesville, and it’s maybe 45 minutes away from Richmond. So you’d always meet people, like professors or whoever, who had tales about Dave Matthews being wasted and doing something crazy. 

For example, I had one friend who delivered him a canoe at 8am one morning, and Dave was holding two Budweisers, one in each hand. My friend was like, “Sick, he’s going to give me one of these beers.” But Dave did NOT give him a beer. My friend even reached his hand out to take the second beer. He thought it was for him and he’d get to enjoy a morning beer with Dave Matthews — but no dice! Dave pulled the beer away from him, gave him a look like, “What the fuck?” and just pointed to where he wanted the canoe on his property, despite having both hands full. 

One more local story about Dave and then I’ll return to my own tale. OK, so my friend is at this bar in Charlottesville, and she thinks there are a bunch of jackets under this table. She’s got her feet like resting on these jackets. And at the end of the night, she looks down there and it’s not a bunch of jackets… it’s Dave Matthews passed out [laughs]. I swear to god! Completely blacked out, under the table. 

So what happened at that Dave Matthews concert you got really high for? 

So we’re at the show, and it’s before Obama was elected. Dave’s like, “The whole worlddddd’s rooting for Obama! We got Irish people being like, [*bad Irish accent*] Lickety-di-Obama! We’ve got African people being like, Click-clack-click-clack-Obama!” He keeps going, and I’m just sitting there like, “What the flying fuck is this? What the fuck is he talking about?” And then Dave goes, “The Chinese are saying Ching-Chong-Ching-Chong-Obama!” The audience is cheering after each line, and I’m increasingly weirded out by all this and how racist it is.

He then goes: “OK, I wrote this song about Obama. It’s called ‘Crash.’” And then he plays the infamous song, “Crash.” Everybody cheers, and I’m just like, “What the fuck does this mean? This is the END of me and weed. I am so fucking confused and freaked out right now.”

I look around and people are still cheering, but it meant nothing. It was like, “What does this statement even mean? What does Obama have to do with ‘Crash’? What is going on here?”

From then on, I decided I’ll never smoke weed again [laughs]. 

That’s wild. Isn’t “Crash” about coming inside of someone? Like, that’s in the lyrics. 

Yeah, I think so. I’m pretty certain. And that makes it all the more twisted. Also, it’s called “Crash” and he got all these anti-Obama people to be hype, all these pro-Obama people to be hype. It wasn’t even English! What language is this man speaking, and what is he trying to say? And everyone was so into it, despite the overt racism.

So Dave Matthews scared me straight. You’d think he might have scared me away from alcohol and all the other shit, but for whatever reason, I thought, “This is the weed’s fault. Not Dave Matthews’ fault.” And yes, I realize this is a problem with Dave Matthews and not a problem with marijuana, but I just couldn’t handle Dave and marijuana together. It was just too much.There you go: Cash Only…. [laughs].

Another panel from defunct Brian’s comic series, “Frisbee F.D.” RIP…

Did you ever smoke weed again, or was this really your last hurrah?

I did smoke one or two other times after a friend was like, “Come on, Brian! Please.” That kind of shit — alright, alright, I’ll take a little sippy-sip. And it was fine. It was OK. It mostly makes me very paranoid and stressed out. I confront my life way too much when I’m high. I don’t think that’s good for me. I’m one of those people.

I bet a lot of people imagine you smoke based on your art, but I think it’s way tighter that you’re the trippy psychedelics-focused illustrator who doesn’t smoke weed. 

That’s what I love to hear. Yeah, weed’s cool. It’s just too confusing and it makes it hard for me to focus. I really respect your style and people who smoke weed and can just blaze through monotonous tasks. I think that’s fucking awesome, but it doesn’t work for me.

What’s your favorite weed-related image to illustrate? You’ve done a thousand at this point.

I can’t remember if I drew this for you or another publication, but drawing the actual plant and the leaves is obviously super fun. I did a full 18” by 24” illustration of the plant for someone once, and it was tight, but they told me they couldn’t use it. So I like drawing the plant. It’s a very pretty plant. 

Another image I commissioned Brian to draw for Merry Jane

What drugs do you enjoy doing these days? I remember you telling me that you usually do psychedelics just once per year. 

Yeah, it’s still a once a year thing. But I enjoy that annual trip quite tremendously [laughs]. Part of my once a year rule is that I can’t try very hard to seek them out. So it’s typically when someone just randomly presents the opportunity, like someone saying, “Hey, I’ve got these tabs for $20 a pop, want to buy one right now?” I don’t actively plan a trip; it usually comes to me. 

In the middle of COVID shit, I found a huge bag of mushrooms on the ground. But I was like, “You know what? This ain’t me right now” [laughs]. I left them there for someone else to find. I thought it’d be way cooler for someone else to come across because I wasn’t in that space. I was in a weird spot, housing-wise, and I knew I couldn’t be that high at the time. It would have been nightmarish — and don’t get me wrong, nightmarish can be good sometimes — but I was just not ready for something like that right then.  

What would it take to get you to smoke again today? 

Not very much, I’d just have to want to do it [laughs]. Not that much. If the right opportunity presented itself. Like if someone cooked an elaborate-ass meal and was like, “The only thing that would enhance this meal and truly make it the greatest thing ever is this weed I grew,” then I’d smoke the weed. If it was a scenario like that, I’d be like, “Yes, this is beyond acceptable.” 

A Ram Dass-inspired panel of “Frisbee F.D.” by Brian Blomerth

What are your general thoughts on weed culture in 2022? Anything about the current weed zeitgeist that you have an opinion on, one way or the other?

I wish you could go into a weed store and buy really crappy weed. Like 1960s weed. I know I’m not original in this thought, but I wish there was access to dirt weed. Shit that makes you want to wear a different colored outfit, you know? There should be more shake around. I want the type of nug you find hidden in a record sleeve that’s like decades old. If I was to smoke weed again, that’d be what I look for. 

What about the aesthetics of weed? Do you have any opinions about the imagery used in weed branding today?

If I’m being honest, I haven’t looked that hard. The only thing that’s annoying for me is that I’m kind of over working with weed brands on illustrations. It’s confusing, and the brands never know what they want. They never work with me a little bit to figure out something that will work for them. They always move the goal post. I’ll work for them on a single project for a long time, and they can’t bring it through the finish line. I don’t want to do that anymore. I want it to be one-and-done for those types of gigs. It’s too much and too confusing. 

Brian Blomerth x Kate Levitt, photo by Zach Sokol

If you were to return to weed, who would be in your dream blunt rotation?

It’d be funny to smoke with three Dave Matthews. Literally three clones. That’d be such a nightmare, three Daves. I don’t think I could handle that, though. That’s a triple threat. I think my casual “I don’t smoke weed” stance would be converted to a strong anti-weed stance if I smoked with three Daves. Yeah, every time I wanna get scared straight again, I’ll smoke with three Dave Matthews. 

If I’m being more serious, I like listening to gurus talk, so maybe the Maharishi and all his transcendental meditation vibes. He’d be way too intense, but it’d be fun to be like, “Nah just chill man.” He’s got a good voice, too.

You know what? I wanna go with people who have amazing voices. So let’s add Orson Welles. It’s all about listening to beautiful tones while you’re smoking. We need a lady, maybe someone with a gravelly voice. How about Delilah Rene, from “Delilah After Dark.” If you listen to mom radio, like adult contemporary, she comes on at night and has this really soft voice and she’s crying a lot. She’s cool. She plays love songs and takes dedications from callers. And people call in and talk about the pain in their life and then ask for Matchbox 20 to be played [laughs]. Let’s also add Diane Rehm from NPR and “On My Mind.” She also has a great voice. 

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Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Michael Vegas, Iconic Adult Star and Pot Lover

This article was originally published on Cash Only. Sign up for the newsletter here and follow Cash Only on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter.

All photos courtesy of Michael Vegas.

Michael Vegas is like the adult film version of the Dos Equis Man — just add an extra X, and boom, you’ve got the most interesting man in porn. The performer, director, “anal guru,” and happiness expert has many talents, though his boyish looks and undeniable charm have undoubtedly led to him becoming one of the most famous NSFW entertainers in the game.

As the saying goes, “the scoreboard doesn’t lie”: Vegas has racked up over 350 million views on Pornhub and nearly 500 million views on xVideos, though the true count is likely higher once you factor in pirated rips of his content. He’s performed in countless videos, directed dozens more, and embraces all varieties of kinks and fetishes across the spectrum of sexuality — he calls himself “PigDaddy,” after all. 

But outside of being a smut legend, Vegas is a deeply fascinating dude with an attitude that exudes “zen master” vibes. From his on-screen presence in both his adult work and social media, to the way he talks about his day-to-day life, the guy is the absolute opposite of insecure. At 38-years-old, Vegas is truly a blissed-out and authentic human. Real charisma is when you’re consistently yourself, and people still gravitate towards you like a moth to a flame. Michael’s got that magnetism in spades, and talking to him feels like a session with a chill-ass life coach — and one who doesn’t proselytize, either!

Over a long and extremely enjoyable phone call, Vegas cracked me the hell up while discussing his intimate relationship with weed. He also reminded me of how miraculous this plant medicine can be. In 2006, Mike got in a horrific motorcycle accident that left him comatose with a broken neck and spine. Vegas is allergic to opioids, so he started using medical marijuana to treat his injuries. “Oh my god! Suddenly, I didn’t even have to think about my pain anymore. My thoughts were free. It became a life-changing tool for me,” he explained. 

From there, we pivoted to many topics, each increasingly interesting. Vegas talked about how learning to juggle also changed his life and benefited him in so many ways that he could “write a dissertation on it.” He gave his therapist a shout-out, as she just published a new book on polyamory. He also discussed listening to ASMR porn when you’re high, as well as a deep house mix that Diplo made using his DJ Hanzel alias. And before we wrapped things up, Vegas noted his longtime admiration (and attraction) to Martha Stewart, and hypothesized what a romantic tryst with her might be like. Heated lube dispensers and ball doilies, anyone?

This is one of my favorite Cash Only interviews to date, and I want to say a big thank you to Michael Vegas! Read the whole thing below.

What was your first time smoking weed like?

Michael Vegas: I was 15-years-old the first time I smoked weed. I was over at a friend’s house and his dad was out of town. We got a hold of a little bit of whiskey, and his brother was a weed smoker, so we got a little nug — maybe a gram’s worth of weed. We smoked and got fucking BAKED! We sat in his brother’s room and played N64 GoldenEye all night. I remember running away from Oddjob, going in circles and staring at the screen while going, “Whoaaaaa…. what’s going on?” Then, whatever happened after GoldenEye, I woke up the next morning in a lawn chair in the backyard, wearing a beanie and sunglasses in my underwear. I feel like my first time smoking somehow involved time travel.

So, from the first time you smoked, you knew you liked weed?

I couldn’t really tell if it was the weed or the whiskey that really made a cleavage. Probably the whiskey, knowing what I know about weed now. However, the forgetfulness could also be chalked up to either, but probably the alcohol. It was fun, it was a good time. Later on, I smoked weed a little bit here and there. It was a bad kid thing to do, and I needed some rebellion. But I didn’t have a need for weed at that point in time. I wasn’t feeling stressed or pain or lack of hunger, or so many other things I now use weed to manage. 

I was kind of not into weed, I was even against weed, for a long time. It made my friends lazy! My best friend would just sit around and play video games all day, when we used to go ride bikes and do skateboard shit. I was that dog in the PSA commercial watching his boy deflate. It was a love-hate relationship for quite a while. 

At what point did weed become a regular part of your life? 

Well I knew that if I smoked, I would get mega-stoned and couldn’t really do anything after. But in 2006, I got in a severe motorcycle accident. I broke my neck, my spine, and ended up in a coma. Hard times. Hard times for a while. Years and years later, maybe like 2010, I was sitting around in my house and I was in so much discomfort that I had to figure a way out. And I’m allergic to opioids and opiates. So I said, all right, I’ll try out some weed. Anything to get me out of here, man. Anything to get me out of this body, to get me out of whatever has happened to me. 

So I smoked a bunch of weed, and the pain went away. That was great. Then I kept doing it, I kept smoking weed more and more to get through the pain. And then finally, I was able to start functioning while high. I wasn’t so stoned anymore. It’s like drinking: you learn to be drunk. I learned how to be a little bit stoned. You have to learn to take a Darvocet or a Norco or whatever pain pill. That doesn’t mean you want to be high, laying on the sofa! You try to find a dose for you that works like medicine so you can function like a human being again. 

I finally figured out the right amount of weed to consume and at what time to consume it, so I wasn’t all fucked up. And then, oh my god! So many benefits. Not just a lack of pain — I didn’t even have to think about my pain anymore! My thoughts were free. I didn’t realize how much of my mental capacity was occupied trying to ignore what my body was feeling. 

Once I got past that, I realized I could think clearer. I am such a scatterbrain. My brain races and goes all sorts of places, so when I started smoking weed, my brain finally slowed down and I could manage my thoughts and get a hold of myself. I could learn things better because I could go slower when trying to process information. Holy fucking shit! I realized everything I was told about weed was a lie. It became an absolutely life-changing tool for me.

In 2017, I started going to weed events. Semi-formal things, where distributors were meeting each other and they were giving out weed. We were galavanting with the good times of weed, and one of the places we went to featured the Surgeon General, or former Surgeon General, speaking on how effective THC is at healing trauma in our veterans. 

I don’t care who the fuck you are: mom, dad, teacher, friend… this guy’s the goddamn Surgeon General and he’s telling you how effective this medicine is at healing some of the people we’re supposed to respect the most? You better listen to this guy!

So now that we’re in 2022, what’s your relationship with weed like today? Are you a morning smoker, an evening consumer?

Per recommendation of Dr. Bradley from Sublime, I smoke two joints in the morning, two in the afternoon, and it makes me feel all right [laughs]. Oh, Sublime… 

But really, I smoke a lot. I’ve discovered I smoke more when I’m with other people. When I’m on my own, I feel the stoned effects more because I’m not trying to quell what’s going on with me as much. It takes less weed to get me stoned when I’m alone. 

So I wake up and smoke weed all day! But I’m also like, “Fuck man, I’m 40, I probably shouldn’t be smoking at all. Maybe I should use another consumption method?” Well, I’m actually 38. I turn 38 tomorrow. 

What are you smoking, exactly? And what’s your preferred consumption method?

I’m a big fan of joints. I like that I don’t have to clean ‘em. I like that I don’t have to clean up after smoking one. I like that it doesn’t taste burnt because I’m not hitting resin regularly. Smoking out of a brand new pipe’s cool, I like that. But I don’t want to have to get this motherfucking oily ash all over my hands, trying to clean it out all the time.

Once you learn to roll a joint, why would you do anything else? People buy pre-rolls, and I’m like, “No, don’t do that. I will roll you a joint. I’ll put keef on the outside, whatever you want. Just stop using pre-rolls full of shitty weed.” 

I like joints because you don’t have to keep smoking them. You can put them out whenever. You can borrow a lighter, and that’s all you need. There are so many benefits. You hand someone a joint and it’s way cooler than handing them a couple nugs of weed, right? So that’s the way I like to go. 

Also, you gotta love a dab. I recently bought an electric nail, or an electric skillet. I’m supposed to get a Puffco for my birthday. One of my cameramen has one; he brings it to set and I love it so much. When I’m at home, and I’m not trying to recharge batteries and stuff, we have a sweet little dab rig with a quartz banger and a carb cap that has those little balls that swirl around in it. It’s got a coil, too, that sits below the quartz banger and heats it up, so you’re not getting hits that taste like metal. I set it to 575 degrees so you get to taste all the terpenes without burning ‘em up. I like that you can control the heat with dabs, so you’re not wasting all the plant material. 

You’re a connoisseur, huh? You know what’s up!

Absolutely. Anything I do, I try to perfect it as much as possible. I like to be an expert, and I like to get better at anything I do. I pay attention to what’s going on, so if I do a hit this way and it’s average, I’ll note it. But if I use a different temperature or hit it another way, and it works really well, I’ll probably tell someone. “Hey man, check this out…” I’m just trying to perfect the technique. 

Michael Vegas photographed by Allan Amato

Do you have any preferences when it comes to terpenes, or are there strains you tend to gravitate towards?

J1, XJ-13, Blue Dream, Wedding Cake, Runtz. It switches up a lot. We typically buy a quarter pound at a time because we have that sweet weed connect with a distributor, so we can get wholesale prices, which is glorious. So we’ll try a quarter pound of this, a quarter pound of that. The plug has great, organic stuff. I will say my favorite indica strain is Louis XIII. You’ve gotta get some. It’s excellent for pain management, and ideal for when you want to be stoned out of your mind! It’s the only strain where I’ll be like, “Let’s go smoke some weed,” and I’ll load a bowl or roll a joint, and hours later I’ll find a half-smoked joint or half-full bowl. It makes me so stoned that I’ll wander away and forget I was smoking weed.

Do you want to shout out any plugs? 

Shannon, that’s my fucking weed lady! Shout-out Shannon. She’s got it going on. Also, a shout-out to Kake. I’m wearing one of their t-shirts right now, and they hooked us up with a bunch of vapes to try out. 

Do you ever consume weed prior to performing or shooting content? 

Yes, because I’m always smoking weed [laughs]. I’ll share a joint with someone on set prior if they like to smoke. I will always ask scene partners if the smell affects them, or if they’re allergic to it, or whatever else first to make sure they’re comfortable. It’s just like wearing perfume or cologne. Ask the people around you how they feel about it, too. 

Does weed help you perform or make you feel more comfortable on camera? 

It helps me get out of my head, and it helps me not sweat the small stuff in a way that’s very conducive to boners. As a professional fucker, I can tell you that if you start thinking too much, your dick is not gonna work. So smoke some weed. Get high and then fuck. 

What activity do you like to do after you’ve gotten really stoned? 

Juggling. For real. I spend a large majority of my free time juggling. Juggling clubs, juggling balls, juggling fire. Slow arts. If you’ve ever seen dudes at raves with glow sticks or whatever, I can do all that. It’s an obsession, and it’s helped me in so many other areas of life. I could write a whole dissertation on juggling. 

When I was 12, I wanted to learn how to juggle, so I begged my parents for some gear, and I promised them I would learn. But then I didn’t because it’s really hard and I didn’t know how to have patience and not get frustrated with things. Remember, I wasn’t smoking weed yet. Then years and years and years later, I ended up meeting this guy named Marvin Ong, who they call Master Ong. He’s a juggling god, and he knows all the other juggling gods. I started making friends with this group of people who are extraordinarily skilled — best in the world type stuff — and it unlocked my brain in a new way. I saw human potential differently than I’d seen it before. 

Juggling helped me understand movement better. I was a stiff dancer before juggling, but it has helped me with timing, it’s helped me learn how to play guitar better, it’s helped me learn to learn better because there’s an immediate feedback system for if you did the moves right. It’s replaced the extreme sports that I used to do and which gave me a lot of bodily injuries. I get the same “living on the edge” satisfaction from juggling that other things gave me before. Plus, it’s all about progression and growing. Those are positive things. 

Fuck, I could talk about juggling all day. It’s an obsession and I think about it all the time. If I’m sitting in traffic, the energy behind my eyes will be tracing sacred geometry, because those are the actual patterns you move in for juggling. So I’m practicing when I’m not even doing it! 

I have a small tangent about sacred geometry and juggling: If you watch someone juggle and you see the traces of what they’re doing, you’ll see sacred geometry. So like slow arts and glow sticks and all that — and if you’ve taken maybe a little too much LSD — you’ll see sacred geometry in real life! And when you make your body go through those motions, your brain starts to understand sacred geometry in a way that touches your soul. Everybody should juggle!

Can you recommend something to watch while really high?

Midnight Gospel! So good. Pendleton Ward, the dude who also did Adventure Time, is a genius. It’s got some really deep shit in it. Not only will you get involved in all these beautiful, existential conversations that he has with experts of all areas, but the animation is such that you can’t tell how they did it. Did they animate this insane thing you’re watching first? Or did they have the conversation first? And if they had the conversation first, how did they get on such fucking crazy tangents that somehow all fit together in the end? I’m still trying to figure it out, but it’s so fun to watch. It helps you heal, it helps you deal with death, and it helps you understand life and loss and so many things we need to get better at as humans dealing with our own humanness. 

What about on the adult side? Is there any particular type of pornography that you think goes well with being stoned? 

Whatever gets it up for you and gets that blood pumping! Maybe ASMR stuff. We’ve been producing a lot of ASMR content for Adult Time, so if you’re into listening and watching then that’s a very neat experience. We’ve got these cool ASMR mics that make things show up in stereo and surround sound if you’re wearing headphones. 

What about music? Any go-to albums, DJs, rappers, etc? What do you like to listen to when you’re stoned?

Ugh, I have such eclectic musical taste. We were recently at a piano bar, and I picked four different songs, and the pianist didn’t know any of them. They were popular once, but I guess not mainstream enough today!

Let’s see, I love EDM and I love dancing. It’s great for getting up, moving around, and exercising, especially when you’re stoned. It’s also great for juggling, because it works like a metronome and I can keep my timing nice and right. I fell in love with trance initially, but I’m more into deep house and electronica-type stuff. I don’t love hardcore. I don’t want to feel like I’m getting kicked in the temple when I hear the rhythm. I like keeping it at 120-130bpm or lower. Here’s what you should listen to: On SoundCloud, there’s a mix called the “One Deeper Mix” by DJ Hanzel, which is actually just Diplo doing a deep house set. It’s an hour or hour-and-half-long journey that is a masterpiece. 

[*German Accent*] “What’s up this is DJ Hanzel! I wanted to play a sick one hour set, but they only gave me 30 minutes. Why? I don’t know. But let’s get into it anyway and: Go. One. Deeper.” That’s how it starts [laughs].

I also love world music. Give me an accordion, gimme some horns, give me a brass section and some strings. I listen to a LOT of what I call “soundtrack music,” but it’s orchestral jazz from the ‘60s and ‘70s. It borders on psychedelic music, and it’s out there.

What about things you like to read when you’re high?

I’m always on Reddit, so I’m not even going to count that. Always in a Reddit hole. My eyes have a really hard time tracking text, which is part of a learning disability I’ve had my whole life. So reading is not my go-to activity; movement is my go-to activity. 

That being said, I want to go ahead and plug this: My therapist, Kate Loree, recently wrote a book called Opening Deeply, and it’s the newest polyamory book on the market. God, it’s good! And not just because it’s my therapist. I’ve heard her say these things for years, and I’ve been trying to share this knowledge. Finally, it is all in book form, and I can now share it easily via Amazon or what have you.

Who’s in your dream blunt rotation? 

I always know who my alive person is, but I’m not sure about dead. Bob Marley would be cool. I’d like to smoke weed with Johnny Cash. That guy is real interesting. What a wild life. 

For living people, Martha Stewart. That’s my go-to. She follows me on Twitter, and has for years. I thought it must have been a mistake, but apparently not. Love you, Martha. I want to smoke with Snoop and Martha together, too, of course. Pass it to the left hand side. 

People always ask me, “What celebrity do you want to have sex with?” and I also always say Martha Stewart. Can you imagine the curated experience she would give you? There’d be like fucking ball doilies and dick coasters and thigh pillows and a lube warmer that descends from the ceiling. She’d think of everything! Also, as a side note, I bet Martha gives great head. 

Any last thoughts you want to add about weed? 

I love it. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. If you’ve been told it’s the devil’s lettuce, maybe look into what people are actually saying about it, compared to what our government has tried to tell us about it through programs like D.A.R.E. 

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Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Trey Smith, Music and Marijuana Journalist

This article was originally published on Cash Only. Sign up for the newsletter here and follow Cash Only on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter.

Trey Smith is perpetually chill. The writer, video host, and Twitter lord keeps it a buck and says what’s on his mind both IRL and URL in a manner that could easily be described as unruffled.

That’s not to say he’s jaded or unenthusiastic, but rather Trey is the embodiment of maintaining your composure and staying cool as ice, even when you’re chopping it up with public figures as diverse (and famous) as Michael Imperioli and Eric Andre.

For years, Trey was a defining voice at the now-sadly-defunct Noisey. The man did it all there: he used to oversee the platform’s socials, wrote countless articles, hosted the popular video show “The Noisey Questionnaire of Life,” and was the go-to talent for anything involving weed. His mellow charisma makes him ideal for starring in 420-related content, as Trey can stay lifted without missing a beat or punchline.

Some of his hazy highlights included the series “Smokables,” which featured Trey making DIY smoking contraptions, such as an ice bong in the middle of a blizzard, a potato one-hitter, and a crab leg pipe. This dude is pretty much the MacGyver of marijuana, and he did the lord’s work by teaching us how to, say, turn a Pringles can into a smoking device.

Trey is a great guy with great taste, and we’re lucky to call him a pal. The journalist recently made some time to hop on the horn and discuss his pot preferences with Cash Only, which includes his go-to bodega for buying weed, some seriously heady book recommendations, and his favorite Japanese market for satisfying the munchies.

What’s your current favorite weed strain and how do you like to consume it? 

Trey Smith: I stopped kind of paying attention to strains, especially because in New York where weed’s not regulated yet you’ve got people selling you, say, Sour Diesel, and it’s different depending on where you get it. If I’m at a dispensary out of town, I’m usually looking for some kind of haze, like something sativa-heavy.

Are you a daytime smoker?

Yes, I’m a wake-and-baker. One of the first things I do when I wake is smoke. I’m that type of smoker. Usually a spliff. One cool thing about the whole Wild West of Weed situation we have out here is that the guy at one of the spots I buy from is very, very generous. So $50 quarters, that type of thing. It’s a pretty good situation. I’m a spliff guy 90% of the time, and I eat edibles sometimes. I was just in California and got some of those infused beverages like Cann and Wunder, which are pretty great. I’ve also been getting into these STIIIZY pens, like the disposable ones. I really enjoy them, and you get at least 150 hits per pen. They cost like $30 and you can just get another when you finish one.

When you say your local guy in NYC is generous, are we talking about a bodega, an exotic snacks shop? 

It’s one of those weed bodegas, one of the ones that popped up since weed got legalized and shit. 

Have you been to one of the gifting dispensaries yet? You live pretty close to Gifted.

Yeah, I’ve checked it out. They’re a little steep with the pricing, and I don’t feel like buying an NFT just to get weed. The store is very well put together, and it looks great in there. So no disrespect, it’s just a different type of weed purchase. 

And the weed from these bodegas is sufficient; it’ll do its job. It’s a one-stop shop, man: I go get my weed, I go get my snacks, I get my beverages. I’ll pick up edibles from them, too. 

Do you have a go-to munchies snack?

Nothing particular. Just whatever the hell I’m thinking about at the time. I get weird cravings. It might be chips, it might be Korean fried chicken. Sometimes I want to crush an entire can of Pringles, you know? There’s this new Japanese grocery store in Williamsburg called Ten Ichi that I fuck with, too. That place whoops ass, man. I like those drinks that have the little ball in the bottleneck. I can’t speak or read a lick of Japanese, so I can’t tell you what’s in that shit, but I’m not mad at whatever it is. 

What activity do you like to do after you’ve gotten really stoned?

Sometimes, I’ll go rock climbing at one of those new rock climbing gyms near The Lot Radio in Brooklyn. It’s fun to be baked and try to figure out how to move your body to get to the next point on the wall. It seems like it’d be hard while you’re stoned, but climbing is mostly about doing strategy in your head and trying to figure out your next three steps ahead. And when I’m that high, my mind is racing anyway, so I may as well channel it into something good. Getting up there is the easy part, but getting yourself down is what’s tricky. They also have an outdoor wall, and when you get to the top of it, there’s a great view of the East River. The place is built for having fun. 

Can you recommend something to watch while really high?

For some reason, if I’m really high, I’ll regularly put on Heat — the Michael Mann movie. It’s a great “dudes rock” movie, you know? It’s for the boys. Like there’s that serial killer subplot that comes out of goddamn nowhere at one point. I’ve seen it at least a dozen and half times. The bank robbery scene gets me every time. 

I’m also in the middle of rewatching King of the Hill, which I’ve also seen at least a dozen times. I feel like that show never got the credit it deserves. It’s maybe the best thing Mike Judge has ever done. It’s about an All-American, flag-loving dude who you’d think would have terrible politics, but he finds out he was more left-leaning than he thought he was in pretty much every episode. There’s one where they have a girl stay at their house, and they didn’t realize she was a call girl. And then Hank defends her from her pimp and sees the humanity in her. Stuff like that. He’s got good values.

Can you recommend something to listen to while smoking?

I’ve been listening to 22GZ; he’s probably my favorite New York rapper right now. Nardo is also funny as shit. He’s from Jacksonville, Florida. Florida, in general, has a really good hip-hop scene right now. Flint and Detroit, too. Michigan rappers always have really dark senses of humor, like Sada Baby and Bfb Da Packman. Packman’s got that lyric, “Stop cappin, my dick ain’t that big.” I interviewed him once and asked about the shirt he wears in the “Free Joe Exotic” video that says “HIV Positive.” All he said was, “Don’t worry about it” [laughs]. 

I also went to Coachella for work, which led me to get back into some pop shit. I liked this guy Weiland who put out an album called Vices. I’m always curious about what’s popular on the radio. I’m mostly genre-agnostic. If I’m feeling it, I might put on some metal and shit when I’m stoned.

Can you recommend something to read once stoned? 

Right now, I’ve been checking out our former colleague Kim Kelly’s book, Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor. I was on a big nonfiction kick a few months ago, so I was reading stuff about class politics and radical movements in American history. There’s this book White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg that’s really good. Also, Blood in My Eye by George Jackson, which is an all-timer for me. 

I’ve been reading a bunch of music books, and I highly recommend Assata Shakur’s autobiography. She was a Black Panther who was accused of killing a cop, and basically had to escape prison and flee to Cuba. One more: Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. That was one of the most fun reads I’ve had in a long time. It’s about a fictionalized band that’s based on Fleetwood Mac. It’s formatted like an oral history, but it’s fiction. It’s an interesting conceptual approach. It’s like 300 pages, and I got through it in like two days. 

Who’s in your dream blunt rotation?

That’s a tough one because I’m smoking when I do everything, so if you’re around me there’s a good chance you may be in my rotation. If I had to pick one person right now, I’d say Angus Cloud from Euphoria. He seems like a chill dude. He’d sit there and only talk if he had something to say — “I’m not here to bother nobody; I’m here to be cool.” I imagine he has that type of vibe. 

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Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Tracie Morrissey, Internet Sleuth and ‘Pot Psychology’ Host

This article was originally published on Cash Only. Sign up for the newsletter here and follow Cash Only on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter.

I wait with bated breath for the day Tracie Morrissey announces she’s working on a memoir. A legend who helped build (or hone) Bust, Jezebel, Broadly, and VICELAND, Tracie is a seminal voice in media who’s undoubtedly shaped the online publishing zeitgeist throughout the past couple decades. 

Tracie is known for many things, but during the pandemic she started posting sleuth-like deep dives on her Instagram Stories about the bullshit spewed by various minor league celebrities, which led to many calling her an “Instagram Detective.” 

These informal but thorough investigations have included her flagging the time two cast members from Vanderpump Rules called the police on their POC colleagues, suggesting that actress Jameela Jamil has Munchausen Syndrome and that she lied about having an illness, or calling out Hilaria Baldwin for faking (or at least extremely exaggerating) her Spanish identity. 

Tracie’s celebrity scrutiny goes beyond viral every time, and though she’s got plenty of haters, they’re yet to prove her wrong. As a result, I kind of think of her as the Jane Meyer of D-List celebs, in the best way possible. 

On the danker side of her oeuvre, Tracie co-hosts the excellent podcast Pot Psychology with her best bud and former Gawker editor Rich Juzwiak. She also runs the cannabis ephemera and lifestyle shop Pipe Dreams (great name), which offers delightful pot products like this hamburger grinder and an acrylic stash box made in collaboration with Edie Parker.

Tracie is an OG head with strong convictions, and this goes for her succinct-but-sweet 420 Recs. Below, she discusses her favorite bong that is yet to be knocked over, listening to yacht rock, and her very on-brand dream blunt rotation featuring both Elizabeth Holmes and Harvey Fierstein. Enjoy, and thanks Tracie! 

What’s your current favorite strain? How do you like to consume it?

I don’t know if I have a favorite strain. I prefer indica dominant hybrids. I’m sort of the same way about weed as I am about wine. I’m not an expert, but I know that I like it. My favorite way to consume is via bong or bubbler — particularly this iridescent cobra bong that I sell. It’s little and perfectly-sized for my hand and I’ve never ever knocked it over, which is a big deal for me.

What’s your current favorite weed product?

I love flower! 

What activity do you like to do after you’ve consumed said weed product?

The most frequent activity I do while stoned is podcasting. I co-host a podcast called Pot Psychology with my best friend Rich Juzwiak. We get high and talk about pop culture. It’s hard to explain but easy to listen to.

Listen to “Pot Psychology” on Apple Podcasts, or subscribe to the Patreon

Can you recommend something to watch while stoned? And explain why you like it.

I watch everything stoned. But I highly recommend Raised by Wolves on HBO Max. It’s about how Earth was destroyed by a war between religious zealots and atheists, and a pod of androids and human fetuses were sent out to another planet to try and start humanity over again.

Can you recommend something to listen to while stoned? And explain why you dig it.

Yacht rock. I like to chill. 

Can you recommend something to read once stoned? 

Takeout menus.

Who’s in your dream blunt rotation?

My dream blunt rotation would be Dionne Warwick, Amy Sedaris, Elizabeth Holmes, and Harvey Fierstein.

Follow Tracie Morrissey on Socials:
Pipe Dreams Shop

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Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Brock Colyar, Nightlife Reporter

This article was originally published on Cash Only. Sign up for the newsletter here and follow Cash Only on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter.

Being a party reporter is one of the most daunting gigs in media, maybe only second to having a weekly column. Brock Colyar straddles both roles, and they’ve become one of the most exciting and downright funny culture writers over the past few years. 

With their weekly nightlife dispatch “Are U Coming?” for New York Magazine, Colyar shadows a medley of socialites, niche micro-influencers, and undeniable legends (Candace Bushell, hello!) as they embark on a memorable night out in New York City. Brock then chronicles their misadventures in a diary-style format, with time-stamped blurbs/vignettes summarizing their activities (alongside some delicious commentary) from the first cocktail of the night through the wee hours.  

Choice cuts include a Diplo DJ set at a Midtown megaclub, an Easter orgy, a Columbia frat party​​, an insanely cringe socialist literary party, plus an evening (or two) with Caroline Calloway. And don’t forget Brock’s cover story on partying during the pandemic, which will go down in history as one of the best time capsules of life in New York during the height of lockdown. 

I’ve gotta give Brock some serious props — it takes a true mix of guts and self-discipline to helm a gig like this. It’s a tricky balance: being loose enough to talk to strangers, or riding the same chemical wave as one of your subjects, while remaining lucid and journalistically sharp. Further, a different writer might feel tempted to be overly fawning about certain events and gatekeepers, or be compelled to roast the more oblivious characters they cross paths with. Brock, however, doesn’t front. They are authentic about what they like and don’t like, bitchy when appropriate, and yet rarely punch below the belt. 

Brock is also one of my favorite people to share a joint and shoot the shit with at an overstimulating social function. It’s always a treat when we hang, and the writer’s 420 Recs for Cash Only are just as delightful. In our interview below, Brock talks about writing sober but editing stoned, their ethics regarding consuming drugs with a subject, and how weed has recently infiltrated fashion parties. Big ups to NYC’s top party chronicler, we love ya!

Brock and Caroline Calloway, photo by Zach Sokol

Can you tell me about the first time you smoked weed?

Brock Colyar: Oh my god, the first time I smoked was at the music festival Bonnaroo. There was a jam band playing and my cousin passed me a joint and that’s all I remember, besides the fact that I didn’t get high. It was one of those classic first time experiences where it doesn’t work and you don’t get high at all. I was 16, maybe? A late weed bloomer.

The first time I really remember getting high was my first week in college. I made a stoner writer smoker friend from Iowa and we went out to Lake Michigan together at night and got super high by the water. It was like two months before the 2016 elections, and I was such a neoliberal Hillary Clinton-supporting fuck at the time. We got stoned and then my new friend and I got into a fight about Bernie Sanders. But then we made up by going to get milkshakes.  

How has your relationship with weed evolved since then? What’s your consumption like today? 

Since I was maybe 19, I have smoked on a daily basis, but I’ve always been a nighttime smoker. Every night, maybe two hours before bed, I smoke a bowl because I can’t roll a joint and I’m a baby. It’s really sad because I’ve watched a million YouTube videos on how to roll, but I can’t do it, so you’ll have to teach me. 

Anyway, I’ll smoke and, on a good night, I’ll use those two hours as my thinking time. I’ll write down ideas and I often edit my work when I’m high. I become more vicious as an editor, and I’ll cut things that aren’t funny or aren’t working. I also think I become slightly bitchier after smoking. So I edit my writing high, and then I joke that the next morning my desk is always littered in Post-It notes with things I scribbled while stoned — story ideas, little sentences I like, unfortunately there’s usually a few musings about the state of my dating life, etc. Nine out of ten of them are really, really, really bad, but then I usually feel that one out of ten ideas is good and makes it worth it. So yeah, I write completely sober, and then everything is edited while I’m stoned.

Lately, my relationship with weed has been changing, though. I recently went to this weed shop in the East Village that I really like, and I bought my first pen. I’ve never smoked out of a pen prior. I’m practicing becoming a more social smoker, so now I always have this pen with me. And I’m trying to use it when I’m out during the week more because I end up drinking less if I’m high. 

I don’t know the name of the pen, and it shows that I’m such a n00b. I’ve smoked nearly every day for the last five years of my life, but I can’t tell you the difference between any strain. I just always smoke a sativa; I hate smoking indicas. Always sativa, even at night. I like my mind to be going. Indica can make me lethargic and I can’t move. I accidentally bought an indica a couple weeks ago, and when I smoke it, I just lay down in my bed and start watching shitty YouTube videos for hours without moving. And I’ll stay up way later than I wanted to.

What’s the weed shop in the East Village like?

It’s on East 10th near 1st Avenue, close to that crystal shop. My friend lives nearby, and it’s also near a bar that I like to go to for cheap martinis. The shop was selling weed before weed shops sprung up seemingly everywhere, so I became loyal to it. And I buy my flower from a delivery service called Hotline Green. 

I’m curious about using weed while you’re out reporting for your party column. Does New York Magazine have a policy about smoking while on the job? When do you decide it’s OK to smoke with an interview subject?

So my general rule when I’m reporting is that I try not to do any substances that the people around me aren’t doing. I want the nightlife experience to be as authentic as possible to the people around me and the people I’m covering. So I usually don’t smoke unless I’m offered or the subject is smoking. 

But then again, I recently started carrying around this pen. And I have to be loosened up to talk to people when I’m out party reporting. Drinking is a little more dangerous for me because I’ll end up going home too early, so I’ve been using the pen more to loosen the gears and force myself to talk to people. 

So if a subject is consuming x, y, or z, you’ll mirror the behavior to get on the same wave?


Is that encouraged by your editors? 

Not necessarily. I think that’s a tricky ethical question I’m always thinking about — my own substance use while out on the job. Obviously, using substances while reporting can cause some problems. But I’ve also found that it can be, well, helpful. If I’m out with a subject who is drinking or smoking or whatever, and I do it too, I think it creates a mutual vulnerability between us. We’re both taking a risk. And I think by doing so I’m able to write about nightlife as authentically as possible. I approach it all on a case-by-case basis, though, and try to be as smart as possible. Of course, there have been times where I fucked up a little, meaning I drank or smoked too much and went home earlier than I should have. I like to see a party from beginning to end. I hate it when I take myself home before the end of the night (or, worse, let someone else lure me home…)

I have offered weed to a subject once. I offered it to Candace Bushnell because she was desperate for something other than a Cosmo. I happened to have my pen on me, so we got super stoned together. She told me she couldn’t get high off THC, but then she got totally stoned [laughs]. 

Were there any other “Are U Coming?” subjects who smoked a lot?

I feel like weed has become more popular recently at fashion parties and fashion-adjacent parties. They’ll have free joints available. Like our friends from Medly were giving out weed at the Laquan Smith afterparty for the Met Gala, and also last year at a Pornhub party at Nublu during fashion week. The NSFW, which is a sex club in Soho I recently wrote about, advertises itself as a cannabis-friendly space. And when I wrote about the psychedelics scene, I smoked during the comedown. Oh, and when I wrote about some Euro sorority girls at Columbia going to a frat party! I think they could’ve outsmoked any of my subjects. And they rolled their joints in these beautiful pink and black papers, with gold filters. Very chic.

I love it when there are free joints at a party, though. Because my favorite thing to do at the end of the night is to get really stoned on my walk back to the train. If I smoke, I enjoy my train ride back — I’m playing music, I’m having a good time, and I won’t pay for an Uber. 

Brock Colyar, photo by Zach Sokol

What activity do you like to do after you’ve gotten really stoned?

I like to watch a lot of reality TV. If I’m done brainstorming, then I’ll put on The Real Housewives. I crave two things when I’m high: drama and food. So I’ll watch a lot of reality TV and a lot of YouTube cooking videos. I don’t cook at all; I’m a Trader Joe’s frozen meal person, but me and Allison Roman spend time together every night. Oh, I also like to chainsmoke when I’m stoned. Love a cigarette, or five, after I’m high. 

What sort of snacks do you like to eat while you’re high?

I like trail mix, Chex Mix, and the little sesame sticks from Trader Joe’s. I also love fruit — orange, grapefruit, really any type of citrus, oh my god! If I don’t have this stuff, I’m going to the 24-hour deli that just opened near my place and buying a pint of ice cream. That can mean trouble because I know there’s always a place I can get snacks at the end of a night. 

What do you like to listen to when you’re stoned on that late night train back home? 

It’s all Stevie Nicks. I’m a classic rock girl. ‘70s music. Stevie Nicks, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, maybe a little Joni Mitchell – music that makes me feel romantic and flirty and floaty. Music that makes me want to twirl around in a shawl.

Brock and Magda from Dirty Mag, photo by Zach Sokol

Can you recommend something to read once stoned? 

I usually don’t read while I’m high, but if I do, I’m reading something I’ve read before, like my comfort literature. This sounds so cheesy, but I keep a book of Adrienne Rich poetry by my bed. If I’m high, I may pick it up and read a poem out loud. Or even an old Joan Didion book of essays that I’ve read a thousand times. That’s actually interesting: If I read while I’m high, I’m reading out loud and really focusing on the sentences and words. If I’m not doing that, I’m not taking any of it in. It’s an interesting literary exercise to read something out loud. I’m also working on becoming a better public speaker, so this helps with that.

Who’s in your dream blunt rotation?

OK, OK. Definitely Stevie Nicks. She’s my fairy godmother of everything. She doesn’t drink anymore, but I have a secret feeling that she still gets stoned. I’d want to listen to her music with her and just talk about everything. Talk all the shit. Do I get to have other guests? Might as well invite Joan and Eve Babitz too, as cliché as that is. Make it a whole LA party girl thing.

Follow Brock Colyar on Socials:
‘Are U Coming?’ Newsletter

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