This week on Onda Community Interviews, we sat with Monica Lo, creator of the award-winning cannabis blog, Sous Weed, to about Monica’s deeper passions and how they shape her career today. Monica is a published photographer and content producer, and renowned chef with a focus on Asain American cuisines and flavors and her very delicious sous vide styled cannabis infusions.
Who inspires you and why?
My mom is a great source of inspiration for me and still to this day, I’m constantly learning from her. While her skills were cultivated out of a necessity to survive in America as a first-generation immigrant, the can-do attitude, creativity, and love for cooking that I’ve picked up has helped propel me forward in my career.
What inspired and led you to start your own business?
Sous Weed started as a passion project in 2015 to document my cannabis-infused creations using the sous vide method. I had a herniated disc with sciatica to go along with it and I wasn’t responding well to the opioids my doctor prescribed me.
I grew up with Chinese herbal medicine and remedies that my mom prepared for me; I didn’t grow up popping pills. I realized I needed a gentler, more holistic approach to pain management—something that didn’t make me sick to the stomach. I wanted to cook with cannabis.
I had a strict landlord at the time so the smell of cannabis in my apartment was not allowed. This meant I couldn’t make my edibles on the stovetop or in a crockpot. But I worked at a sous vide company and I thought, “why don’t I sous vide my weed?” And it worked! By sealing my cannabis and oil in a bag and submerging it underwater to cook, I was able to discreetly make the medicine I needed to heal myself.
How is it being a woman running your own business?
Sous Weed is still blog with hundreds of cannabis-infused recipes and resources, but the platform has since taken on a new life. I’ve been able to connect with inspirational female thought leaders in the cannabis space to work on collaborations. Cannabis companies have also reached out to work on branding projects, packaging design, recipe testing, photoshoots—all the things I enjoy doing. Sous Weed has become this intersection of my passions and my skillset.
What challenges did you have to overcome in starting this business?
I came from an advertising industry and food industry, both of which are white male-dominated. The emerging cannabis industry was a refreshing change of pace due to the fact that it’s incredibly new. But as the industry has gained traction, female and POC representation has declined, which is concerning.
Right now, there are advocacy groups in the industry that are doing their part to course-correct and open up conversations about cannabis within the POC and AAPI communities. I was on the founding team of Asian Americans for Cannabis Education back in 2015 for this reason. We want to be a responsible face for cannabis users and help dispel myths and stigmas around this beneficial plant. We hope more transparency about our journey into the industry would inspire others to join as well.
What is the struggle that led you to initially try CBD?
It is of the utmost importance to tell your own story, especially as a woman and a person of color. I tend to be more introverted so I’m still growing into my voice and power. Higher doses of cannabidiol like Onda’s Whole Hemp CBD 50mg capsules work well to calm my anxieties before speaking engagements.
Have you explored other CBD brands prior to trying Onda?
What about Onda stands out to you? Would you recommend us to a friend?
I enjoy Onda’s variety of whole-plant hemp CBD capsules. There’s absolutely no fuss and it’s an easy addition to my morning supplements.
Thanks for tuning into another Onda Community interview! Be sure to check out sousweed.com for cannabis-infused recipes, visit @sousweed on Instagram to learn more about the incredibly creative, Monica Lo.
featured portrait by Heather Tafolla, @heathertafolla