Weed Cookies: My Fully Baked Ambien Alternative

Pot edibles might not be legal — but they also don't cause sleep driving.


Photos: Shutterstock.com | Photo illustration: Alyse Moyer

The last time I took an Ambien was a little more than two years ago. I was a couple weeks into the prescription and woke up feeling strange, even by insomniac standards.

I knew I wasn’t in any shape to take the El — or, God forbid, get in my car on a medication that inspired the term “sleep driving” — so I jumped in a cab and directed the driver to 15th and Market, an intersection that sounded familiar enough.

The office I had worked in for four years was less than a block away, but I couldn’t remember exactly where. I decided to get a coffee and regroup before calling my mother and waiting for the SWAT teams to descend.

Starbucks is both the best place and the worst place to be if you’re semi-conscious.

On the one hand, the baristas are unfailingly polite and experienced with disheveled women who don’t know what day it is. On the other, their cafes are brilliantly, meticulously designed to appear as cozy neighborhood coffee houses without actually giving any clues about said neighborhood. The Starbucks on 16th Street looks exactly the same as the Starbucks on Walnut Street, which looks exactly the same as the Starbucks in Barcelona — which was a problem this particular morning.

Thankfully, the combination of caffeine and adrenaline kicked in and I eventually found my way to the Metro office, where I probably screwed up your beloved Sudoku puzzle solution but couldn’t cause any real harm.

The Ambien experiment was, unfortunately, over, and it was back to my usual, self-prescribed insomnia treatment: smoking a little pot while watching a lot of late-night TV. I have seen every single episode of House (not easy), every minute of The Big Bang Theory (not healthy) and I own an alarming amount of buy-one-get-one-free pasta strainers (act now!).

It’s not that I have any problem with smoking pot. Far from it. But I am writing this piece in pink oxfords and a button-down shirt covered in embroidered, winking owls. I was a Girl Scout as a teenager (quite literally — my badge game was strong) and missed the window of opportunity to learn how to roll a joint or pass a bowl with any type of finesse. How many Hello Kitty appliances are on my counter? That would be three. Your grandmother looks less awkward smoking pot.

But a few months ago I reconnected with a long-lost college friend: pot cookies.

It took me a few tries to bake a good cookie, and a few more to bake the perfect cookie. But if you’re not concerned about consistency or your toffee-to-chocolate chip ratio? Just Google a quick tutorial and preheat your oven. If you’re not much of a baker, you can, of course, buy a pre-made batch from some dealers — although it could be argued that if you’re not ambitious enough to bake weed cookies, perhaps you shouldn’t be eating weed cookies.

Not only do edibles fit into my life a little easier, but they provide a gentle, lullaby of a high that puts me to sleep and keeps me there better than the roster of medications I’ve tried over the years.  I only break into my cookie stash during the opening notes of The Daily Show, but according to a friend who got fed up with her Xanax prescription, they also do wonders for waking-hours anxiety. (I can see how they would. But I’ve struck up a deal with my anxiety disorder, which has been fairly effective at keeping me alive, employed and functioning in the absence of any real motivation or passion. Like a pesky roommate who doesn’t do the dishes but does detect the carbon monoxide leak, it has justified its existence and must not, for now at least, be mellowed.)

I’m not an activist. Like anyone who lives in Philadelphia and is paying attention, I support the decriminalization of marijuana, but Lynne Abraham and her commendable animal rights record had my vote even before she amended her position. That said, I do have to question the intelligence and honesty of anyone who allows the Ambien — or alcohol — to flow while outlawing marijuana.

Because I’ve made some bad Doritos decisions while eating weed cookies, sure. But I’ve never gotten lost in a Starbucks.

Follow @IProposeToast on Twitter. 

Previously: Pot Is Coming, Philadelphia!
Previously: The 11 People Leading the Charge for Legal Pot in Philadelphia