Relished far and wide and everywhere in between, Mindy Segal’s desserts are a product of commitment, passion and innovation. Her collaboration with Illinois-based cultivating and processing company Cresco Labs has launched her sweet treats into the world of cannabis. The products hit shelves last month in Illinois. DOPE Magazine caught up with Mindy to chat edible dosing, the challenges of mass-produced desserts and the difficulties of working in a solely medical state.
Dope Magazine: What came first cannabis or cooking?
Mindy Segal: I am a professional chef. I own my own restaurant and a bakery, I am a full on chef.
DM: Did you originally use your own personal recipes when making your edibles?
MS: Yes, yes, yes I did. It’s all true. The only thing that I hadn’t done before was make candies. So, I was working on nailing those down this summer. It was really challenging, because I am a pastry chef and not entirely used to working with oils. Working with flavored oils was really difficult for me. But at the end of the day, I accepted the challenge and I really like my candies.
DM: When you’re giving someone advice about using your product for the first time, what do you say?
MS: I always tell people that everybody’s body is different. A body high is completely different than smoking marijuana. It also is very dependent on what you have in your system and how you’re taking in the edible. For me, personally, ten milligrams is my limit. If I did more than ten milligrams, I would be tripping. I’ve had some bad experiences eating marijuana so I know exactly what it’s like. So I always urge people to start with a half of a dose and build up from there.
DM: How do you and Cresco Labs decide on which strains to use in your recipes?
MS: We really just used bi-products of what we had around and we’ve found through trial and error that there were a couple of strains that were best for us. I personally, in the future, would like to explore strain-specific products. Right now, we are distilling oil and moving the terpenes away so that the candy becomes tasteless. That is how we are marketing it, but I would like to, at some point, be a little more “chefy” and reintroduce terpenes according to their flavors.
DM: How has working with cannabis changed your perception of the dessert world?
MS: To be honest with you the challenge of my experience has been working with a large company, mass producing my products and seeing how my products look packaged for sale in a retail setting. It’s also been challenging trying to create a product that tastes good and has consistent dosing. Both the head extractor, Mike West at Cresco Labs and the chef Matt, we’ve all worked together mathematically to make sure we’re doing the right thing.
DM: What have been the biggest hurdles you’ve faced working in a medical state?
MS: Technically, it is illegal for me to try my own products. I think that Illinois is a long way off from legalizing marijuana for recreational use, but you know I am hoping that the patient population will grow as more conditions are added to the list. I am waiting for migraines to go on the list, because I suffer from them. I would love to be able to get my medical card.