Medicated Brownie Recipe: Homage To A Feminist Icon
The close of Women’s History Month has us rethinking both the power language and perceptions of drug dealers with this deliciously sticky recipe by “the original pot brownie lady”. Hell, the first ingredient listed is, “Magic”.
Why there isn’t a Netflix documentary on the life and times of Meridy Volz, artist and creator of the infamous “Sticky Fingers Brownies”, we’re not entirely sure (hint, hint Netflix). After digging into the vaults of the 1970’s San Francisco ganja scene, we learned that Volz’s story was anything other than that of your average narcotics kingpin. Or shall we say, queenpin?
Why’d Meridy name her pot brownies “sticky fingers”, anyway? Well, that part was an accident. After accepting the business from another hippie queenpin who sold coffee, little breads, and “just one dozen pot brownies in a special bag” each day at Fisherman’s Wharf, Volz, who knew a lot about pot, yet little about baking, forgot an imperative ingredient in her first batch: the flour!
Legend has it that Volz, a “flower child, the real deal hippie”, evaded her only federal drug indictment in 1969 because she refused to open a package on the grounds that it was addressed to someone else, “a federal offense,” she exclaimed. That “someone else” was a 6-month old baby, Volz’s cousin’s child, she told Criminal podcast in a 2016 interview. Way to use language to stick it to em’, Meridy!
In their heyday, 10,000 of these infamous pot brownies were sold every month out of a San Francisco warehouse. Ten THOUSAND. In the nineteen-seventies! Indeed the Women’s Rights Movement was beginning to make strides, but a woman bringing in that type of income, at that time, was revolutionary.
Volz currently lives in Desert Hot Springs, CA, where she teaches art and paints. Fret not, though, Volz made sure to leave the secret recipe on the final batch for connoisseurs to enjoy for years!
What’s more feminist than that? Thanks, Meridy!
Here’s what you’ll need for Volz’s Sticky Fingers Pot Brownies:
note: all verbiage as originally written.
5 sticks of butter
16 eggs/6 cups of sugar
3 cup flour
3 tsp. salt
16 oz., unsweetened baking chocolate
Melt butter in a double boiler, and stir in the “Magic”. This is the “Ghee”
Combine eggs and sugar in a large bowl.
Slowly melt chocolate in another double-boiler.
When the Ghee has boiled for 30 min., add flour, powder, salt to eggs and sugar. Then add the Ghee and the chocolate.
Pour into 4 9”x12” greased baking pans.
Bake at 400F, patting down the batter several times with a spatula to keep it from rising. When the brownies are solid, but still very moist, remove from oven and cover with a towel to keep moisture in.
….Yields 8 dozen 2”x 2” brownies..
Power to the People!
We love you…
-Sticky Fingers Brownies
Whipping up the recipe/personal highlight, I almost feel, at least in a microscopic way, that I’m part of the movement Volz accidentally created.
“Power to the People” read the packaging on the final batch of microdosed pot brownies to circulate SF and beyond. I wonder, though, is the current racial, gendered, and socio-economic climate in cannabis the “power to the people” in which Volz spoke of? Every day, legal pot brownies are being sold while men and women, mostly minority, sit in jail or prison for cannabis-related convictions. To make matters worse, cities like Los Angeles have yet to fund long-promised social equity programs meant to give back to the very communities the war on drugs harmed so deeply.
We contacted Volz for her ponderings on the matter and will update if there’s a response.
To hear more about this feminist icon and brownie guru’s story, check out her interview on popular podcast, Criminal, recorded at WUNC in 2016.