Monica Lo is a San Francisco based creative director, food + cannabis content producer, photographer, food stylist, the creator of Sous Weed and the CCO of Skunk Factory. Sous Weed is an online culinary destination for the canna-curious and budding chefs alike. Skunk Factory will be launching soon with an incredible line of cannabis products. Monica's goal is to break down the cannabis stereotypes and elevate the image to reflect the real, every day cannabis user's lifestyle in her work.
How would you describe yourself and what you do?
I’m the creator of Sous Weed and the Chief Creative Officer of Skunk Factory. I’m a creative director, photographer, and recipe developer by trade.
How has Cannabis influenced or affected your life?
The interest first came from the need for holistic pain management when I herniated a disc. I had trouble even getting out of bed and the sciatica was debilitating. My doctor had me on opiates and nine Ibuprofens a day—my mind was in a haze and I worried about my liver health. I made the switch to cannabis edibles made with the Sous Weed method and an anti-inflammatory diet because it was easier on my system and helped me get through my day-to-day tasks while I was healing.
What did you do before you got involved in the cannabis industry?
I built my career as an art director working at all the large advertising agencies in NYC but my heart has always been in food and photography. After eight years in New York, I was at a point where I needed a change. I packed my bags and moved to San Francisco to dabble in the food and tech industry. This was also the time where I rediscovered my passion for cannabis and started my Sous Weed blog.
How did Sous Weed come to life?
I had a ruthless landlord in a strict apartment complex at the time I hurt my back—I had to be very discreet with the wafting scent of cannabis so cooking in a Crockpot or on the stovetop was out of the question. I had been working at Nomiku, a sous vide start-up, and thought it could work if I cooked my cannabis infusions in a vacuum-sealed bag underwater. I started documenting my discreet edibles on a blog and three years later, I’m working with cannabis full-time!
You share some fantastic cannabis-infused recipes, what inspires your recipes?
Thank you! A lot of my recipes are inspired by the amazing produce we have here in California and the seasonal ingredients I’m able to pick up at the farmer's markets. These days I’m inspired by my heritage as a first-generation Taiwanese American. Growing up in Texas, all I wanted to do was assimilate into the stereotypical American culture, much like many other Asian American children in the late 80’s and 90’s. Now all I want is to learn about the flavors my parents and grandparents enjoyed.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness to me is the act of making choices that lead to a happier, healthier, and balanced life. It’s not always easy and I’m constantly course-correcting to make sure I’m living my life as fully as possible.
What is your self-care routine? Do you incorporate cannabis into your routine and how?
I try to make decisions that make me feel good every day. I start my mornings with a cannabis smoothie with berries, adaptogenic herbs, and a handful of raw cannabis greens. I follow that up with a black coffee and then I’m ready to take on my workload. I make sure to take breaks when I need to and balance my work with passion projects. A few times a week, I enjoy grocery shopping—it’s therapeutic for me. I make dinner every night because that’s when I get to be extra creative and I enjoy feeding my loved ones.
What is your favorite way to use Cannabis? Do you have a favorite strain and why?
We’re growing some fun stuff at Skunk Factory! I’m currently loving Monster Cookies, which is an indica-dominant hybrid that’s a cross between Cookies and Grand Daddy Purple. This background gives the flowers a relaxing high and a complex, fruity flavor. I prefer micro-dosing with edibles and vaping during the day and hitting the pipe or dabs at night.
What impact do you think Cannabis will have on women’s health?
It made a huge impact on my health and I believe it can for many other women as well. From transdermal patches and pain creams for my chronic back pain to tinctures and personal lubricants—cannabis has made its way into many aspects of my health and wellness regimen.
How has cannabis changed or added value to your daily life?
Cannabis is my muse. I use it to unlock my imagination and unleash my creativity. It’s a great attitude adjustment when I’m feeling stressed out or cranky.
Cannabis and food photography by Monica Lo, @sousweed
Portrait photography by Sean Amador, @seandarko
How to connect with Monica:
Follow her on Instagram at @sousweed
Learn more about fantastic cannabis-infused recipes at sousweed.com