Recommended Listening: I Feel Free by Cream
Dorothy Lawson is many things, chef, yogi, teacher, but she is also incredibly passionate about helping others. I have had the privilege of calling her my friend, chef, and collaborator for some time now. As lead of the Mint Café, she will be known for running the only infused hot-cold food kitchen’s in the country. That said, I feel the community needs to know about one of the best kept secrets in edibles, her company, Ruby Red Confections. She has a background that gives her an understanding of cannabis, not only for edible infusion, but concentrate extractions and cannabis cultivation as well; which makes her equipped to provide some of the best edibles in the state. Her company, Ruby Red Confections is not your standard edibles, it is a culinary gauntlet of taste, effects, and presentation. Rarities that don’t come over the counter to be eaten alone in the car but with friends in celebration of better health.
Ruby Red is based in confections, cakes, and other delights not often seen in bakeries, let alone dispensaries. If you have an upcoming special occasion that requires a cake, possibly at a high dose to entertain company, Ruby Red Confections can cater to you. The appeal of red velvet cookies at Valentine’s or for an anniversary is already a gift, but to get those infused for your partner is a new level of decadence. I cannot speak on everything I learned under Dorothy’s tutelage, but her work in calculating dosages is unrivaled. The combination of edibles dosed correctly and the base infusion made into some of the tastiest desserts in the state, makes her a name you should know in American cannabis. You can check out some of her creations at the Mint Café where she leads the kitchen in creating unique edibles to medicate with. I take some time to talk to her about her craft and about Ruby Red Confections.
Dorothy Lawson | Ruby Red Confections
Tell us a bit about yourself, who is Ruby Red Confections?
I am a Phoenix native with a love of math, all things science, and all things food. I spent a decade working in finance, moving on from that into the cannabis industry. The cannabis industry welcomed me back in 2012. Since then I have walked the life of a budtender, dabtender, certification clinic assistant, grow shop manager, and chef all while building Ruby Red Confections on the back end, slowly but steadily.
Where does the name come from?
My name is Dorothy. My whole life people have been asking me if I’m from Kansas or if I’m off to see the wizard. I used to hate it, but the name grew on me in my 20s, so much so that I have a stuffed animal dog named Toto. I love the whole idea of Dorothy’s red slippers and when I started making confections, and the name seemed just right.
Your edibles are both stunning and decadent, what sort of culinary background do you have?
I grew up always baking at home with my mom, eating the best european pastries, going to Romanelli’s and Europa Pastry Cafe and they always had the most delicious pastries. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing chefs. In 2018, I decided to go to Scottsdale Community College for Pastry Arts because I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I had to find out what it was I didn’t know about pastries. I have taken classes with some great Chefs: Dan Boman, Theresa Ludwig, Chelsea Higgins, and Kiley Habbeshaw.
Infused Cannolis | Ruby Red Confections
What inspired you to start infused cooking?
I was drawn to begin infusing cannabis into my everyday foods because of my love of food and the therapy that making foods provides, I wanted to share with whoever would listen that I was inspired to bring high quality edibles to patients that are pleasant to the palate. I love seeing the look on somebody’s face when they are telling you about their medicated experience because of something you made for them. The patient is really what it’s all about. Helping people find easy ways to incorporate their medication into their daily lives.
What advice do you have for patients who utilize edibles?
Be mindful and document how your body reacts and try a lot of different edibles so you know what works best for you. Start with small doses, 5-25mg on the low end and up from there. If you have gallbladder issues, edibles may not work or you may need a very large dose to feel any effects. Keep in mind there is a difference in the type of edible high that depends on the parent material going into edibles. Depending on what kind of results you are going for, it would determine which edible you select. For example, what kind of brownie is an easy question that is easily complicated with the addition of cannabis. Is it distillate, broad spectrum, or full spectrum, and then mix CBD in there too?
If the brownie is “broad spectrum 250mg”, then the brownie is THC + a variety of cannabinoids because the butter the brownie is typically infused with is an oil, like shatter or crumble. Broad spectrum edibles give more of an all over body high. Very pleasant, very mellow.
If the brownie is a “250mg brownie” it is only THC, which is typically infused with an oil like distillate. Distillate does give a body high, but it is more of a head high. Some may experience a headache. Those not too fond of sativas may want something more broad or full spectrum.
If the brownie is “full spectrum 250mg”, then the brownie is THC + a variety of cannabinoids + non active alkaloids. Because the brownie is typically infused with an oil, like RSO, the taste is less pleasant.
Keep in mind that knowing the parent material is helpful in determining which edible you would prefer to medicate with. Ask your budtender!
Wedding Cake | Ruby Red Confections
Do you have any advice for chefs who are starting out?
There is a ton of math in a cannabis kitchen! Be ready! Do what you do for the love of the plant, the love and the growth of the cannabis industry. Passion is key. Keep practicing your recipes and ideas, share, and research, research, research. You never know what knowledge is waiting right around the corner. Just think about all those teachers out there sharing their passions. Knowledge is power!
Are you a medical card holder?
Yes, I have been for the past 8 years.
Do you have any favorite products, vendors, or dispensaries that people should know about?
Definitely check out all the things Aeriz, extracts and carts. Superior Dispensary has bomb flowers and hash. Hands down, check out the Mint Cafe at The Mint Dispensary in Tempe, Az! The Mint Cafe has a well-rounded culinary team that is on its way to making big things happen. And Chef Turtle! Check him out, he’s doing big things too!
What is your preferred method of medicating, any favorite stains?
I like a combination of flower and concentrate. Edibles mixed in when I’m needing more sleep or when I’m feeling down. I personally prefer Gorilla Glue, Headband, Girl Scout Cookies, Sunset Sherbet, Wedding Cake, and if anyone knows where to find a Pre-98 Bubba Kush, let me know!
Birthday Cake | Ruby Red Confections
Is there anything that you are excited about learning or doing more of in culinary?
I am excited to take my very last culinary class at Scottsdale Community College! That class is all about candies and confections. After that class, I will proudly graduate with my Pastry Arts degree. I am really fascinated with the mind expansion that will come from that experience.
What changes do you think will come with our vote in November?
I think that legalization will pass in November. We will likely see lots of progression, coupled with price increases due to increased testing requirements.
Where can people find you, and anything we should keep our eyes out for in the future?
Yes! Check out the latest Ruby Red Confections creations on Facebook and Instagram @RubyRedConfections. Place your orders at rubyredconfection.com for non-medicated merchandise. Email me for medicated orders at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480-420-9730. Keep an eye out for giveaways coming up in Fall 2020 on my Instagram.
Velvet Mousse Pie | Ruby Red Confections
Adrian Ryan was born in New Mexico and attended school since elementary in Arizona, his time growing up split between the two states. He hopes to work towards recreational cannabis, enjoys reading, writing, film, music, and also writing music.
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