Alice B. Toklas
Next time you consume a medicated brownie or attend an LGBT rally, you may be surprised that gay rights and edibles owe a symbolic debt to a literary and political figure from the early 20th century called Alice B. Toklas. Cali-born Toklas, along with lifelong partner (and writer) Gertrude Stein led a salon in Paris that attracted cultural expats such as Thornton Wilder, Sherwood Anderson, Picasso, Matisse and Ernest Hemingway. Besides being Stein’s lover, Toklas also acted as her muse, editor and secretary. Because of Stein and Toklas’ relationship (which had no legal status or recognition back then), groups like the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, founded in 1971, took its name for the early cultural envelope-pusher.
But Toklas also became attached to marijuana culture after she published The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, a collection of reminiscences and memoirs that also contained a famous recipe for “Haschich Fudge.” Eventually, brownies prepared with marijuana became known as “Alice B. Toklas brownies.” Oh, Alice, sweet Alice . . .
I Love You, Alice B. Toklas is a 1968 Peter Sellers film set in 1960s counterculture that involves marijuana brownies as an important plot point.
Literary figures like French poet Baudelaire and writer Alexandre Dumas were known to experiment with cannabis. They even formed a “Hashish Club” in 1840s Paris.
Medicated brownies have figures in small and large ways in recent movies. The 2007 flick Smiley Face starring Anna Faris involves a series of misadventures under the influence of these edibles. In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Sam Witwicky’s mother (played by Julie White) goes bonkers after eating brownies she bought from some Rastas.