The first thing you need to know about Mary J. White (other than her cool name) is that she will make you feel inspired, joyful and, of course, hungry.
The other thing you should know is that she does not call herself a chef. Mary J. prefers to be known as a cook, a gardener, a writer and even an entrepreneur. But she freely admits she is not a gourmet nor a chef.
“I’m like the Rachael Ray of cannabis,” Mary explained. “I’m not chef-y. I’m all about cooking for every day, and teaching folks how to use cannabis in the same way they would use a spice or herb.”
Mary J. has lived in Seattle her entire life and loves the Northwest. Her parents were also into food, growing much of their own produce, fishing, and hunting their own meat.
“My mom was kind of a frustrated chef, and she was rockin’ quiche and sauerbraten and kidneys way back in the day – needless to say, I developed a major love of all kinds of grub.”
Mary J. had a long career in local radio and TV, which ended in 2011, so she decided to pursue cooking classes as a career. Since she loved to cook and she loved to talk, it seemed like a good direction.
During this time, she started to experience some health issues, including chronic pain. Looking for pain relief alternatives, a friend offered her a cannabis edible. She immediately became a fan and began the process of educating herself about everything cannabis.
“Of course, I knew about cannabis, but it was this experience that made me realize that marijuana is ancient medicine. It’s not confusing, we’ve just forgotten how to use it,” she said.
Mary J. is now a popular cook in Seattle, teaching regular classes and workshops. She teaches classes such as “Cooking with Cannabis,” an introduction to the multiple healing properties of cannabis; “Cooking with Cannabis, Beyond Brownies,” focusing on the benefits of cannabis tinctures as a liquid delivery system; “Cooking with Cannabis, Lotions,” instruction on how to infuse lotions for pain relief; and “Kitchen Survival,” teaching you how to stock your pantry, and then showing you how to raid it.
She grows her own cannabis (Washington state residents with medical authorization can grow up to four plants for personal medical use), which she uses in her cooking, and sources hemp from a local grower (LeBlancCNE.com).
Mary J. is the author of two books, “EveryDayMaryJ” and “CBD Cookbook for Beginners” — available through her website — and offers regular speaking engagements at retirement homes.
She also hosts creative gatherings for groups, such as “50 Shades of Food” for couples, including blindfolded taste tests to learn about the feel of the food and the sensuality of feeding one another, and “Girls Night Out,” for groups of women, including small plates and big flavors.
Mary J. says that more than half of her students have never tried cannabis, and two-thirds of them are interested due to health issues. Her goal is to help folks learn how to add cannabis to just about anything, but she likes to focus on everyday items, such as ketchup, mustards, and pesto.
“This is not about getting people baked,” Mary J. explained, “This is about learning the nuances of marijuana, such as the terpenes and matching flavors, and how to include it in everyday things we like to cook or use on our bodies.”
In the future, Mary J. would like to do more research, offer more demonstrations and branch out beyond Washington. She wants to help more people learn how wonderful, sensual, and life-affirming “real food” can be, particularly if includes a bit of “mary j.” Her goal is to bring cannabis and hemp into everyone’s pantry, where it should live beside turmeric, basil and lavender.
“It’s a plant with fantastic medicinal properties and everyone should know how to use it. I think the more we know about cannabis, the healthier we’ll be as humans and entities. This is about healing humanity and providing gifts from the heart. Cannabis has a spiritual element that can help everybody in some way, and I’m here to help make that happen.”
Green Olive Cheese Poppers
Recipe by Mary J. White
These are wonderful and have a great ’60s cocktail culture vibe. They’re addictive with an adult beverage, so watch it, as the cannabis can creep up on you!
2 cups finely grated cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons soft cannabutter
1 1/4 cup flour
Healthy dash cayenne pepper (to taste)
2 jars (about 35) pimento stuffed olives, well-drained and patted dry
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Beat the cheese and cannabutter together until super smooth, and then stir in the flour and cayenne. Form about a teaspoon of dough around each olive, creating a cute little coat. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake until firm, about 15 minutes. Serve warm – dee-licious!!
Can’t get to West Seattle to attend one of Mary J. White’s classes in person? They can also be taken online through the Academy of Cannabis Science. Visit the Classes section of maryjwhite.com for more info.
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