Watermelon wants to become the Martha Stewart of weed.
Perhaps best known for selling watermelon and pot cookies at Wreck Beach, the blond-haired potrepreneur and activist has just launched an online marijuana cooking show and shes got a pot cook book in the works.
I want to teach everyone how to get the proverbial weed into the proverbial brownie, she says, grinning.
Im not confessing to selling cookies now anymore. What Im selling now is my marijuana cooking show. You know its not illegal to sell information. Nobody busted Cheech and Chong for producing Up in Smoke.
Her new show (BakingAFoolOfMyself.com), which also stars her 68-year-old mom, Mary she doesnt smoke pot at all, she explains features Watermelon, dressed like a 40s housewife, inside her kitchen cooking up pot-infused recipes like Marijuana Bacon, Nice Cream Cones and her summertime cocktail fave, Marijuana Mojitos.
Yesterday, we made chocolate pecan tarts with Baileys Irish Cream in them, she says, her eyes narrowing as she recalls the tasty treats. Theyre really good, do you want one? We make all sorts of fun things. I once made black Zambuca marijuana ice cream with organic cashew milk.
This isnt the first time Watermelon (real name Mary Jean Dunsdon) has cooked in front of the camera.
Ten years ago, she starred in a show called Baked and Baking, she explains, getting up from her living room table and returning with a pair of DVD cases that are decorated with police evidence stickers that read Regina vs. Dunsdon.
I never did take the [evidence] labels off because I thought it was so funny. But this is my first cooking show. Its still a good seller. They used this as evidence against me in a court of law, she says incredulously.
Watermelon has always loved to bake she and her mom, both health nuts, were always in the kitchen making everything from scratch but it has also gotten her in trouble with the law.
When she was 20 and struggling to earn a living as a stand-up comic, she cooked up an idea to earn some extra cash after she spied a big bag of marijuana shake at her friends place. Without a recipe, she used the shake to bake some marijuana cookies and went down to Wreck Beach. The nude beach denizens gobbled them up.
Having learned about supply and demand when she began hawking watermelon at Wreck a few years earlier (thats how she got her nickname), she knew she had a money-maker. She raced home and put more cookies in the oven. Sold everything, she recalls.
For years she sold her pot cookies on the famous nude beach. But in 2001, the longtime Wreck Beach denizen was arrested for allegedly trafficking gingersnap cookies.
It was hilarious. They arrest me on Wreck Beach and make me get dressed, take me to the cop shop and then strip search me.
More arrests and three headline-making trials followed. She was acquitted all three times. They spent a million dollars trying to get the cookie girl, says Watermelon, an outspoken pot activist who believes strongly that weed should be legalized.
Ironically, Watermelons arrests actually boosted business; after the headlines, she sold even more cookies.
Of course, Watermelon was already pretty recognizable.
In 2001, she appeared on the cover of High Times magazine in a Marijuana Monroe, pin-up girl-style spread (she was taken blindfolded to the grow-op for the shoot). That cover is still the magazines best-selling issue, she notes, beating out even Snoop Dog and Jimi Hendrix. Since then, shes continued with magazine pin-up shoots with new characters like CleoPotra, Jungle Mary Jane, Little Miss Puff It and Mary Jane Mansfield. (Currently, shes on the cover of the U.K. cannabis magazine ISMOKE.)
Either Ive got on sweatpants or I got my fake eyelashes on and Im ready to rock or Im just naked on Wreck Beach. So, I have these three looks, says Watermelon, who today is wearing a blue blouse, white skirt, red pumps and marijuana leaf earrings, her blond hair done up in her trademark hot-roller curls.
Watermelon, who is also a Cap U philosophy student and burlesque performer, hopes her new cooking show will go viral; she also hopes to normalize marijuana and provide a portrait of a contemporary stoner. Todays pot smokers arent anything like the characters portrayed by Cheech and Chong, she asserts. The modern stoner is educated, sophisticated, theyre probably a family person; they have money.
Potheads arent stealing your VCR, were like out raking the yard, you know? Potheads are making the world a nice place, she says. So I like to put myself out there. Im like Oh, you want to know what a marijuana smoker looks like? Im one look at me. I smoke marijuana every day. I love marijuana.
And shes unapologetic about her weed-worshiping, beach-loving lifestyle. You cant really fault a girl whos enjoying her life without really hurting anybody. Theres no major moral crime happening here. I like to get naked, I like to smoke pot. Sounds perfectly reasonable doesnt it?