Credit: Brigid O'Keefe

Not every edible needs to knock you on your ass. It’s a lesson that took me until 2020 to learn. My first experience with eating weed was in high school (sorry, mom) when some friends baked a birthday cake for us to eat in the woods. The ratio of pot to cake was, ahem, very high, and the result was like a scene out of Reefer Madness—more than half the group ate giant slices that sent their brains to another planet and their stomachs to the floor. I remained terrified of edibles for the next 14 years.

Cut to Christmas 2020. Recreational marijuana has been legal for almost a whole year, and as a result culinary cannabis enthusiasts have had time and resources to perfect their dosages. And lo and behold, chef Mindy Segal, always at the forefront of Chicago’s edible scene, created a treat that would bring me back from the great cake disaster of 2006. As part of a holiday gift from a friend, I received a handful of Mindy’s honey sweet melon gummies, only 2 mg of THC each. No need to measure out a chocolate bar into manageable pieces or nibble at the edge of a cookie hoping you don’t go overboard. These perfectly portioned treats are just enough to calm your mind on a sunny afternoon or relax your body before bed. And it seems other companies are starting to follow suit, not to mention the treats I can potentially make for myself now that I know what dose works for me. It just definitely won’t be a birthday cake.   v

Credit: Illustration by Jason Wyatt Frederick