I first heard about Vancouver’s clothing-optional Wreck Beach in my teens. Apparently you had to hike down many steps through a luscious rainforest to get there. The long rugged trek in, and consequently, longer, laborious trek out, kept many undesirables away. This partial isolation from the world also helped establish a variable group of athletic vendors ready to offer ice-cold beer and snacks to anyone enjoying the sunset far awa from any stores.

Imagine a glorious nude beach where people frolicked in the sunshine, openly smoked pot, disliked uptight folks and all their rules, and still embraced the practice of free enterprise. It was the last frontier of freedom. I loved that beach before I ever went there. I loved it more after.

Going to Wreck Beach on most sunny days became habit-forming after my first visit. I quickly made a new beach bestie named Paddy White. He was an 80-year-old, Irish bootlegger who hawked “Cigareets…nice cigareets for sale.” It was love at first sight. I worked selling T-shirts for him for a while. Soon I figured I might best be served by attempting my own free enterprise. Selling T-shirts on a nude beach was more humorous then lucrative.

One beautiful summer morning I awoke terribly dehydrated under a tree by the ocean. I had danced the night away on magic mushrooms by fire under a full moon. When I awoke I was desperately thirsty. No vendors had arrived yet. I really needed water. The first vendor down sold me a fruit juice, but it was basically sugar water—the opposite of thirst-quenching. I would have paid any price for a real piece of fruit at that moment.

The next day I showed up with apples, oranges, mangoes and one big-ass watermelon. On the first day working for myself I made $80. A few shifts up and down those stairs later, I streamlined my inventory and sold only watermelon slices. The year after that I added pot cookies to the roster. That first day of work I made $250.

Fast forward 22 glorious years later and I have officially lain to rest my job selling watermelon and pot cookies on Wreck Beach. I am now writing this column because it suits my retirement schedule. I am also taking a course on chocolate-making. Watermelon is very thirst-quenching, by the way, and cannabis can be your best friend when done in moderation.

How to Make Shake Flower Recap

In my first column for Hydrolife, I talked about making shake flour. This is the basis for almost every recipe I make. Learning how to use shake flour on a recipe-by-recipe basis helps reduce the guesswork involved with edibles. Just to recap, if your recipe suggests it makes 10 servings, you will weigh up only enough shake flour for 10 servings. My guideline is 0.5-0.75 grams per serving, so adding anywhere between 5 and 7.5 grams of shake flour to a recipe serving 10 people is perfect. Adding more does not usually equate to more fun.

Making Time-Honored Edibles

You’re probably already familiar with pot butter. This is because butter is great for conversion. It likes high heat, it converts fast and easy, and it suits many recipes. With this in mind, I want to share a time-honored edible recipe for pot brownies—or, as I like to call them, No Frownie Brownies.

Chocolate in any form is always amazing, if you go for that sort of thing. Add the enlightening experience of cannabis and you have yourself the time-honored recipe for bliss and satisfaction. Nuts are a delicious accompaniment with chocolate brownies but these days someone is bound to be allergic, so I replace them with finely ground espresso beans. Coffee and chocolate pair great together. Also, the coffee is a nice stimulant against the sedating effects of cannabis. Win. Win. I love it when my brownie gets a hard sheen topping that tastes almost like icing. I especially dig a brownie that is both solid and gooey in the middle. To me this is what makes a brownie a brownie.


Baking a Fool of Myself: The No Frownie Brownie


How to Make Watermelon's Famous No Frownie Brownie

Turn every frown upside down.

Serves 15

Ingredients

  • 10 grams shake flour
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate (chopped, cubed or chips)
  • 8 ounces butter
  • 1 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup flour (sifted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dark French roast coffee/espresso (finely ground)

Steps

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Lightly flour the base of 9-inch pan and line with parchment paper.
  • In a saucepan on low heat, slowly melt butter with the shake flour for five minutes without allowing it to burn or boil over. Turn off heat and add the chocolate in the saucepan, stirring constantly until melted.
  • In a bowl, sift cocoa, flour, baking powder and coffee.
  • In a separate bowl whisk eggs and add sugar. Add slightly cooled chocolate “budder” to whisked sugar and eggs and mix.
  • Now add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour batter into lined pan and place in preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes. Aluminum pans cook faster. Stay vigilant.
  • Let cool completely. Dollop with fresh whip cream and coffee bean.

Why Ingest Cannabis?

I love how ingesting cannabis makes me feel. It makes me feel warm and cozy inside. I get a sense of wonder and bliss. I laugh easily and heartily. I am less argumentative (a family trait I can’t seem to shake). Edibles work great for me.

Those who ingest cannabis for serious pain management can develop a tolerance pretty quickly. Cancer patients who need to saturate their system with a wide spectrum of cannabinoids in a short amount of time will also develop a tolerance. Some people naturally have a high tolerance for cannabis ingestion. All these people are the exception, not the rule. Be warned.