Alice B. Toklas and the Pot Brownie

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Even though the pot brownie is a long-standing favorite among cannabis connoisseurs, few know about the woman who made edibles popular: Alice B. Toklas. Avant-garde is a French term given to people whose lives, art, and underpinning ideologies are unconventional, experimental, and innovative. Alice B. Toklas was a San Francisco native who later became a member of the Parisian avant-garde and the great love of writer Gertrude Stein. Toklas has long been considered a pioneer of freedom of expression, individualism, and an early twentieth-century example of a woman who refused to be defined or confined by convention. Her association with cannabis is a fascinating glimpse into her unorthodox life and her influence on modern society; interweaving tales of Picasso, Paris, Peter Sellers, and of course, pot brownies.

Alice was an intriguing figure who, many years after her relationship with Gertrude Stein ended, came to be known for her publication The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. It became popular with followers of the counterculture movement in the 1960s. One reason for this is that the second edition of the book contained a recipe for “Haschich Fudge” (after publishers Harper’s omitted the recipe from the original U.S. first edition). These bitesize bars of fruit, nuts, spices, and a liberal sprinkling of cannabis even inspired the plot of a movie! 

Find delectable edibles worthy of Alice Toklas herself at Medallion Wellness. And, if you’re looking for other ways to enjoy cannabis, you can find pre-rolls, premium flower, concentrates, and more at one of our Central Valley locations. Residents of Modesto, Merced, Fresno, Atwater, Waterford, and beyond can take advantage of our simple, secure online ordering system and delivery service. Any questions? Let us know by calling (888) 354-0139 or messaging us on our website.

An Unorthodox Woman with an Unorthodox Life

The aftermath of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake was a devastating catalyst that saw a young Alice move to Paris to start a new life. Just a day after she arrived, she met Gertrude Stein; a fellow American with a passion for poetry, modernist writing, and collecting art. They began a relationship that would last almost forty years. Despite the relative taboo of such relationships at the time, Paris was a safe haven for LGBT performers, artists, and subcultures through the jazz age, World War II, and beyond. 

Stars of the French Art Scene

Stein was a prominent writer in the avant-garde scene, and was known for her collection of fine art, including works by Picasso. In fact, Stein wrote about her partner in a work that Modern Library ranks in the top 20 nonfiction books of the 20th century. The Autobiography of Alice Toklas, published in 1933. Stein recounts her life with Alice from Alice’s perspective. Together with cameos from famous artists Henri Matisse and Paul Cezanne, and a tumultuous argument involving T.S. Eliot, the book allows the reader a glimpse into the lives of two extraordinary trailblazers.

Just under a decade after Stein’s death in 1946, Alice published The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. These musings and culinary experiments captured the imagination of a growing movement of hippies, activists, and freethinkers with recipes that freely stated the inclusion of “canibus sativa” [sic].

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Alice’s influence can also be found in some surprising places; even in scientific journals outlining the medicinal use of cannabis! Showing just how renowned Alice’s “alternative” recipe is, a writer for the Mayo Clinic describes her pot brownies in one word; “legendary”.(1)

The Haschich Fudge Controversy

Hippies, students, and other freethinkers advocated for “free love” and nonviolence in a decade that saw significant cultural change, political upheaval, and historical events that changed the social landscape of the United States- most notably the ongoing Civil Rights Movement and the assassination of JFK. And, before the implementation of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 in the United States, cannabis usage increased significantly during the counterculture movement of the 1960s.(2) 

Alice describes the trouble her “haschich fudge” brownie recipe caused on this side of the Atlantic in a 1963 interview with Pacifica Radio, which is available on YouTube. She speaks of her shock that her American publishers omitted the recipe in the first edition of her book, even stating that the English were “braver” for allowing it! She describes her editor’s attempts to contact higher-ups in Washington, who responded with the following statement:

“You may grow it, you may manufacture it, but you may not sell it, you may not eat it.”

Naturally, following the recipe’s inclusion in the second US edition of the book, the rest is history, and an unconventional woman with an unconventional taste for “special” brownies solidified her place in counterculture history.

Alice B. Toklas’ Pot Brownie Recipe

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 whole nutmeg seed
  • 4 “average” sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander 
  • Dried figs
  • Stoned dates
  • Shelled almonds
  • A cup of sugar
  • A “big pat” of butter
  • A “bunch” of cannabis sativa

Grind the black peppercorns, nutmeg, cinnamon, and coriander with a pestle and mortar. Chop and mix the figs, dates, almonds, and peanuts and mix them together. Grind the cannabis sativa, add to the other spices. Knead the fruit and nut mix together, dusting with the spice/cannabis mixture. Dissolve a cup of sugar into a pat of butter. Add the kneaded fruit, nut, and “special” spice mix and fashion it into a cake shape, or roll into balls “about the size of a walnut”.

Alice comically notes that the brownies “should be eaten with care” and that “Two pieces are quite sufficient”.

Alice’s Legacy

The title and narrative of the 1968 movie I Love You Alice Toklas pays homage to the woman and the recipe. Starring comedic actor Peter Sellers and set under the backdrop of the counterculture movement, this romantic comedy tells of a beautiful young hippie girl who makes him brownies with an unidentified secret ingredient. Sellers’ character and his entire family erupt with dizzying laughter soon after, so you can definitely guess what that ingredient was.

Alice B. Toklas is an example of a woman who lived her life as she wanted. She passed away in 1967 and is buried beside Gertrude Stein in the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, but her legacy lives on in her books, on-screen, and in the somewhat infamous pot brownie controversy!

Edibles at Medallion Wellness 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a leaf out of The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook yourself and make your own edible treats at home. Or, if that sounds a little too much like hard work, you can browse our selection of edibles and order for delivery! 

Here’s just a taste of the cannabis-infused edibles available at Medallion Wellness!


Cannabis-Infused Peanut Butter Cups (20 count) – These deliciously nostalgic treats by Emerald Sky are the perfect snack for a relaxing night in! At 5mg a piece, these melt-in-your-mouth goodies are the perfect combination of smooth milk chocolate, nutty goodness, in mood-enhancing sativa, relaxing indica, or hybrid varieties. You can also get a Double Dose (10mg) in hybrid, sativa, and indica varieties!

Cannabis-Infused Chocolate by Nug (Hybrid) – Choose your favorite chocolate with a selection of delicious weed-infused bars! Select your order(s) from Salted Almond, Cookies and Cream White Chocolate, or Dark Chocolate. Alternatively, the great people at Nug have developed a sugar-free option for those who need to watch their sugar intake.

Dark Chocolate Mocha Malt Balls (Hybrid) – Try these crunchy, bubbly balls of malt covered with THC-infused chocolate. At 90 mg per pack, to echo the Punch Edibles slogan; go ahead, have a ball!


Gummies by Stiiizy (90mg/pack) – The masters of vaporizers step into the edibles arena with these juicy, fruity triangular candies. Choose from: Sour Apple, Blue Raspberry Blast, Caribbean Breeze, Fruit Punch Splash, Mango Tango, and Sour Strawberry flavors.

Find out about The Science of Edibles yourself on the Medallion Wellness blog!

Midnight Cherry CBN Gummies (Indica) – Heavy Hitters’ cannabis-infused gummies have an extra ingredient cannabinol (CBN). Known for its deeply relaxing, sleep-inducing properties, CBN is an increasingly popular choice for those seeking a restful evening.

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  1. Bostwick, J. M. (2012). Blurred Boundaries: The Therapeutics and Politics of Medical Marijuana. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 87(2), 172–186. 
  2. McKenna, G. J. (2014). The Current Status of Medical Marijuana in the United States. Hawai’i Journal of Medicine & Public Health, 73(4), 105–108. 
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