Faced with limited advertising options, hemp and cannabis business owners rely on social media influencers to boost traffic and sales.
Chip has been following Instagram personality, Chef Anna with the Pot, the influencer who would go around grocery stores sharing weeds to people.
In this episode, Chef Anna shares how he started growing cannabis from a spare closet in his rental apartment that attracted dedicated home-growers and cannabis enthusiasts. Also, learn about growing autoflowers and how he’s promoting cannabis on Instagram.
I was just a regular guy when I started growing cannabis, and I’m not a scientist, I’m not the smartest man in the world, I just took a seed, put in some dirt and got a cheap light and got started. – Chef Anna
Some Topics We Discussed Include
4:10 – Giving out weed movement
10:50 – He got fired from his marketing job because he was growing weed at his desk
14:08 – Why he chose to grow autoflowers
19:01 – Chef Anna’s dream growing space
25:06 – Promoting cannabis on Instagram
29:37 – What to expect from Chef Anna?
33:27 – The weed culture in Michigan
35:06 – Why Chef Anna?
36:31 – Growing weed, Chef Anna’s style
People Mentioned / Resources
Connect with Chef Anna
Connect with Chip Baker
Chip Baker: Hey, this is Chip with The Real Dirt in today’s dirt. I have an Instagram personality, Chef Anna with The Pot. Now I’ve been following Chef Anna for a while. I love his feed. He goes around to like Walmart’s and grocery stores, and his people eat his typical emos. He walks up behind someone when they’re not looking and says, Oh, hey, you drop this man, here’s some weed. And just the responses they get are great but I just really love what he’s doing. The social movement of it all, the culture of cannabis that’s portrayed in his Instagram site, and what he’s doing out in public, it’s just awesome.
Years ago, I got involved with these people down in Gainesville, Florida doing doobie tosses, and that was Murli, The Doobie Tosser. You can look him up, and he’s going to live in this old mill section of town called “For Ganja.” We would go down there, and they’d have this party where we would roll up a thousand joints and then toss them in this public park everybody showed up for Murli’s doobie toss. Well, of course, Murli gets arrested for it because he’s just this kind of odd like redneck Hindu type guy in Florida, and he gets arrested for it and promotes cannabis and through his whole trial and arrest where he used it for a positive movement with cannabis. At the time back in Florida in 1994 or something like we were throwing out joints, man, wow, you were cutting edge. Now to see Chef Anna do it, man, he does it in such a cool way just seems so normal. You know, as I got to look at his site, it’s more than just him handing out a weed. He’s promoting auto flowers, he has some auto flower stuff, and we’ll get into all that in this episode, I’m looking forward to talking to Chef Anna. We’re going to hear all about it, man.
So if you like this episode, please download others at iTunes The Real Dirt podcast. You can also check us out on Facebook, The Real Dirt podcast as well as you know, just drop me a line, man. Check us out at a therealdirt.com, and we have newsletters, and you know information all the time has gone out. And if you ever have an episode that you’re interested in, hey, let me know about it, man. So, yeah, man, here goes our great episode with Chef Anna, and I want you to sit back, roll up the largest joint you can fire it up and get the real dirt.
This episode of The Real Dirt is proudly sponsored by GreenBroz. With harvest time right around the corner. I always like to recommend my favorite harvest products, whether it’s scissors, bags, or whatever. But I know a lot of you, listeners are probably in a bigger grow right now, and are chopping down your huge plants or maybe just like a shit ton of small plants. You’re getting ready to hang them dry well unless you have a full-on trim team ready to go, then you’re going to need some sort of automated trimming device, some sort of trimming machine. Now I know before you start going off on me advocating anything other than hand trim, sometimes just the necessity of scale or if you’re a one-man operation requires you to have a machine trim product, and the GreenBroz trimmers just make it so easy. Talk to any of my staff at Cultivate Colorado or Cultivate OKC, or shoot us a message on our website, cultivatecolorado.com or cultivateokc.com, and get a free demo, if you aren’t convinced that the machine trimmers can work for you. Now it’s time to get into The Real Dirt.
Hey, this is Chip with The Real Dirt, in today’s dirt, I have one of my favorite Instagram personalities cannabis personality Chef Anna with The Pot, say hey Chef.
Chef Anna: Yo’ what’s up, man? I appreciate you for having me.
Giving Out Weed Movement
Chip Baker: Man, thanks for being on. I love your Instagram you go around giving people weed, and you’re really life-changing like, I mean the social norms of it all, and you give weed to people in grocery stores and Walmart’s and just like normal places man. How did you come up with this idea?
Chef Anna: Yeah, well first off, I can’t say the WR anymore. Walmart, I got a little email about that, so I have to say grocery store or supermarket. But really that just came randomly, man. A friend of mine, my friend Chris rest in peace. We used to always go out in public, just kind of interacting with strangers just bear real silly. You know, trying to make people smile, make us smile.
That’s a really popular thing now with a lot of influences, whether it be YouTube or Instagram. You see, their content is based on getting reactions from random strangers. But I hadn’t really seen anybody doing it necessarily with cannabis or weed in the way that I was doing it. So it was just something that I picked up to do in my spare time I grow, but we’re moving to a new growth space so I wasn’t growing at the time so I’m like I need something to keep people watching my page and so I just kind of went out and started doing that. People liked it, and you know, I’ve been doing it ever since.
Chip Baker: You were doing this type of stuff, you know, spoofing people in public, so to speak before Instagram, before cannabis?
Chef Anna: Oh, man, like I’m talking about all the way back to middle school man like we used to just go out in public just acts silly, man. Like I say it all the time, like sometimes when I get back up with that group of friends. I say if YouTube, we were just a generation too soon. If YouTube was around back when we were younger doing that, we were filming that, we would have been huge. Do you know what I mean? Like I’ve been doing stuff like this for a long time. So it was cool to kind of watch it comes full circle.
If YouTube was around back when we were younger doing that, we were filming that, we would have been huge. - Chef Anna Click To Tweet
Chip Baker: Where’d you grow up, Chef?
Chef Anna: I grew up in Detroit. Shout out to my city Detroit, Michigan.
Chip Baker: I can imagine you as a young hooligan rolling around the streets.
Chef Anna: It was all in good fun though, like that was kind of our way of keeping out of trouble, though we might have pushed it a little bit sometimes and messing with people, you know, it was all in good fun. We never hurt anybody. We never take from anybody or anything like that. And I think that kind of shows through in my current antics and my current bids where I’m like you said giving away weed to people in public whether they want it or not, just kind of present it and you see it’s all in good fun, something to make people happy.
Chip Baker: What’s your favorite interaction? When when you’ve been doing this type of thing by giving cannabis to people?
Chef Anna: Man, I’ve been anybody that’s been following me and watching it. I’ve been looking for an old lady. I’ve been looking for grandma for so long. Like I’ve been walking up to old ladies, like grandma, do you smoke weed? And most of them say no. But they’re always super nice to me and kind of hard. And I always say one of these days we don’t get grandma.
Recently I did a Walmart stash where I hit a couple of ounces a week, and I’m sorry a supermarket stash. I got a snap, where I had a couple of ounces of weed in the supermarket. I come across a couple of older ladies, and they were so curious about it that they snatched it out of my hands like I have to send you the video. If you haven’t seen it, they snatched it out of my hands, and I knew she was gonna take it because she never would let me get it back. She was smelling it, she was excited. She was nervous to take it like she thought she would get in trouble, and I’m like, Yo, that’s only like an eight the weed. Like, you know, a lot of people in my states dude, I know that was recreational, you can have up to an ounce of weed on your personal. So I had to reassure her that it was okay that she could take it, and she took it, and that was probably my favorite one so far.
Cannabis in Detroit
Chip Baker: Uh, yeah, man. Michigan’s been going off, man. It’s they’ve got some really great, great laws there. And it’s all just started happening. Are you seeing shops pop up left and right or tell me what the scene is like in Detroit or Michigan now?
Chef Anna: Yeah, we’ve had shops for a while now because we’ve been medically legal. So we’ve had dispensaries for quite a while now. We still don’t have free stores, where you don’t need the car to go in. I think that is going to come in 2020. But the biggest change and the most important change to me is that every resident can now have up to 12 plants in their home.
So every resident can grow 12 marijuana plants in their home, and that’s the most exciting thing about it to me. I mean, I’m seeing a lot of people jumping on board and starting to work on weed at home as they should. I think everybody on the planet should I mean of course you want to go out and try some different things sometimes maybe buy some here and there. But for the most part, if you spend more than a couple of hundred dollars on weed per month, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re in a legal state, you need to go ahead and grow your own.
Chip Baker: Also grow stores Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate Oklahoma City, and we have seen such a huge resurgence in the past year between Michigan and Oklahoma for home growers, you know, people buying grow tents like it’s hard to get a grow tent right now. You know, we’ve got them on backorder we hustle them, we have some in stock, but like you know here in Oklahoma just in 10 months, almost 200,000 people have gotten their medical prescription. So is just exploding with people new to cannabis that are interested in growing it your own, cuz man you know everybody’s ever smoked a joint has had that thought. Oh man, I get to grow this shit, man!
Chef Anna: Oh absolutely man, like that’s been something that you know my friends and I ever since we first started smoking we always wanted to grow weed I’ve had a couple of friends. Shout out to my homie Dennis he was one of the first people that I ever saw. He had a tent in his closet, a small little closet, a small tent, a big maybe two or three plants. And it was just amazing to watch that happen like ever since then I always knew like whenever I got my own situation and setup and responsibilities. I knew I was gonna grow my own cannabis. It was happening one way or another.
Chip Baker: You promote auto flowers you’re in this, the seed business, is that correct?
Chef Anna: Not specifically, I wouldn’t say I promote autoflowers, but it is all I grow, you know I am a champion of growing autoflowers in terms of I tell people that are just the future of homegrown that’s my opinion, but it’s something I feel strongly about.
I was just a regular guy when I started growing cannabis, and I’m not a scientist, I’m not the smartest man in the world, I just took a seed, put in some dirt and got a cheap light and got started. You know what I mean, before the way the autoflower and cannabis growth is perfect for the person that has a job, for the person that’s working 40 plus hours a week that doesn’t have that type of time to dedicate to a full room of plants. You can grow a couple of small plants that don’t even take that much maintenance and get them harvested in less than 90 days. Good quality cannabis, 90 days or less from seed. So it’s something that I really think is gonna once it really gets out there on the mainstream stage it’s going to take over for home growers.
Chip Baker: Now, Chef, I heard this rumor, I’m not sure if it’s true that you lost your job because you were growing auto flowers?
Chef Anna: I didn’t lose my job. I got rid of my job. I got fired for growing a weed plant on my desk.
Chip Baker: So what kind of job was this, what kind of job was this? Where were you?
Chef Anna: I was working in sales and advertising. So marketing advertising sales so we would sell you know ads to companies all over the world. So I have a sales background a marketing, background advertising for years like in my private my personal life for years, talking about a decade. But it was getting to the point where man, like I’ve been working for people for a long time, then I have this thing on the side that is generating so much interest, so much engagement, so much feedback, that I know if I put time into this side of it, I can really take you somewhere.
So that was something that kind of was like a crossroads for me. It was literally a crossroads, my job world, my Chef Anna world. They came to a crossroads literally because I brought my Chef Anna world into my job. We’re together by starting the weed plant on my desk. And the whole goal was to see how long I could grow it before upper management found out and got pretty far because they were pretty hands up. So needless to say, that was a pretty cool experience. Man. I don’t know anybody else that I can say that you know, so that’s a one-time thing.
Chip Baker: Tell me how the incident when they approached you because you were growing weed, growing cannabis at your desk?
Chef Anna: Well it was more of a word of mouth thing like nobody ever saw the plant like you had the idea to tell I did a podcast shout out to TGI Friday podcast, I did a tell on that podcast because people wanted to know like, how did you get away with growing a plant at your desk for that? And I have to tell the people it was because management was disconnected. Nobody ever came to speak to me; you know what I mean? So like I’m literally at a desk by myself. I got managers that I work within 20 feet of I’m talking 20 feet radius. You see, I’m saying? Like so if I can get away with something like that, man, like you already know that I’m not even in the place that I’m supposed to be, you know, I’m saying? So like it was really like a word of mouth thing.
I think a couple of people started seeing some Instagram posts, and my page was getting bigger–that particular post and me growing the plant at my desk got a lot of attraction. And so they come over I got tipped off, they come over, and I’d already taken the plant out they’ve confronted me about the picture. I owned up to the picture, and you know they told me that they would have to make a decision. And that was that of course; I was recording the whole time if anybody knows me I got my [inaudible] glasses on. So I was recording the whole thing. I put the video out is still there for anybody to see. So that was a crazy event, and I liked it, I love it, it’s one time, and I got fired for growing weed at my desk.
Chip Baker: I will see that I give you the award of getting fired at your desk for growing weed. No one– I haven’t given that award yet away, but like–
Chef Anna: I talk to Guinness, I’m trying to get in the Guinness Book world records, so I wait for them to retire my call. We’ll see.
Chip Baker: Let’s talk about the weed. Let’s talk about the autoflowers because this is something that really is a resurgence here. I mean, people have been growing them for years, but it’s really had a resurgence the past couple of years. Everyone in Oklahoma seems to be growing it. But man, I’m going to confess, I don’t quite see why really you should grow them into Inside, I see outside why you should grow, but tell me what’s going on with autoflowers? Tell me why I should be growing them for my personal use inside?
Chef Anna: To address that, the inside thing I’m up here in Detroit. So we got a brutal winter coming, and I want to be able to grow year-round. So we can only grow a couple of months outdoors out of the year up here. But that would be the number one reason for indoor. Number two, they are generally shorter to medium-size plants, so they’re perfect for indoor situations, perfect for smaller closets, perfect for smaller tents, easy to move around, real easy to manage. They don’t need a flip and light cycle to begin flowering.
So you don’t have to worry about light leaks, rolling your crop or ruining your plants, anything like that. It’s almost foolproof, and for you, like I tell everybody, I’m not here to convince anybody what they should be growing or what they shouldn’t be growing. I tell people why I grow. You know, I’m saying like, and I grow them for all of those reasons. It’s almost foolproof, I mean, from seed to harvest. It’s almost foolproof, they’re super resilient, and it’s very hard to mess up like you’re not going to have any issues with light I can keep a full rotation in the same space since I’m not worried about different life cycles. I leave my lights on 24 hours and on runs 24-hour cycles, which allows me to have plants flowering and vegging in the same space. That’s not something you can do with photos is that a pro or a con? It’s up to you to decide, but for me, that’s a pro in the style that I grow. So and I think that just when I look at my life and how I got started, man, coming home from work, sometimes you might not be able to get into your garden.
So when you can’t, you know, I know people that grow photos that can’t water at a certain time because it’s dark in there, they have to wait for the net. Do you know what I mean? Like midnight, I can go into the grow room. The lights are on I can do whatever I need to do whenever I need to do so it’s just perfect for my style and my life. And I know it’s a lot of people out there like me, and I say it’s perfect for you all to do jump on that auto way.
Chip Baker: Can you just throw them in the corner? Do they require the same amount of light as photos like it’s the same thing, right?
Chef Anna: It’s the same thing, man. It’s like a cousin, me and my cousin are the same. We both humans, we just got two different lineages, you know what I’m saying? But we’re both identical. If you look at both of us, we probably have a lot of the same features; we look exactly alike. That’s all it is. It’s a cousin in the cannabis world. Do you know what I mean? And they don’t require a different life cycle to flower. And the dope thing about it is a lot of readers out here crossing that route rather start out autoflowering genetic into some of the best indications to TV strains on the planet. So what you have is the best indicator and sensitivity restraints on the planet now switching into autoflower where it’s the same genetic, but it’s just now not going to change its lifecycle or flowering cycle based on the life it’s going to be based on the age.
Again, that might not be a pro for somebody that’s got a whole farm or a whole warehouse or something like that. But for a home grower, if you’re trying to grow 12 plants or less, it’s absolutely perfect. Especially once you get them on a good rotation, you can get it to a place where you got a harvest every other month or every month, depending on how you do the rotation. So I think like I said, I say it will change the face of homegrown once it goes mainstream, mark my word.
Chip Baker: Right now, it’s already started to happen even commercially, man. So for the people out there who don’t quite follow what we’re talking about, is most cannabis plants are triggered by a flower by a photoperiod of 12 hours or something around there of darkness. And with autoflowers, a trait has been bred into them where they flower over time. So you know once every, so you just plant the seed, and it starts to vege it goes into flower at just some point. And it has a set number of days for the crop it’s 70 or 90 days, right? Do you have an average time these things pull Are they all different times
Chef Anna: That’s general, I would say 65 to 90 is a nice general in the right environment, colder temperatures, they’ll grow longer and colder temperatures I’ve seen them go 100 plus days, 120 days but as long as you got the right environment anywhere between 65 and 90 days you were saying the safe bit.
Chip Baker: So okay, so you had these hybrids of autoflowers that are crossed with normal photos, like when you plant those seeds out, do you get any photos out of it? Or is it just all autoflower?
Chef Anna: Now I don’t dabble in that in crossing photos and autos together, but it would be just like any other breeding, and you would take the auto, take the photos across them, the offspring of those you grow out, and the ones that have the autoflowering trait, you isolate those and keep bringing that autoflower and tray into those. The ones that still need light to trigger, you grow them out, give them away, do whatever you want with them. So basically, select in that, you basically breed in that trait into the [inaudible] or to [inaudible] over time. Now that’s not something that I’ve started doing yet. My plan– I like autoflowers, and when I start the breeding program, it’ll be auto to auto. I don’t really– I may dabble with a photo like outdoor and pollinate it. But I’ll pretty much be crossing auto to auto some of the best auto genetics in the world.
Chip Baker: So tell me, what’s your grown now?
Chef Anna’s Dream Growing Space
Chef Anna: Right now I’m in the transitional period I got a couple of things going on right now, I always got to keep some plants growing. So I got a couple of pink Panama plants growing from Mephisto genetics in my side closet, but I’m in the process of renovating a ten by 12 room in my basement attached adjacent to which will be my growth studio photo, get up photo video, I’m going to have a bar with the desk, so I can do a promo and products and whatnot, and it’s crazy watching it all come together anybody that’s following me on Instagram you can kind of watch me build that. I call it the growth space in my dreams. But that’s really what I’m doing right now, so I don’t have any full runs going, but I can’t wait to get back to growing a full run of plants. I don’t know what I’m gonna plant once I get this room finished.
Chip Baker: What’s been your favorite autoflower so far?
Chef Anna: Well, autos are all about genetics, like a lot of people have bad experiences with them. I hear they reach out to me and say the plant wasn’t strong or– All I know is if you got good genetics you can produce quality, quality weed in the auto platform though. I like on Mephisto genetics for the most part night out seeds. I like that BSB, Top shelf. I mean there are so many breeders out there now, all the way down from the large scale, all the way down to like the mom and pop style breeder, man, there’s so many out there. So if you are unfamiliar with autos, just get out there and do a quick search when you come across everybody, or you can come to Chef Anna, check it out. I can get you some seeds or some little program that I’m working on.
All I know is if you got good genetics, you can produce quality, quality weed in the auto platform - Chef Anna Click To Tweet
Chip Baker: Man, this is so interesting to me. I’m glad we got to chat here. I’m gonna let’s take a little quick break. I need to roll up some weed here, and we need to get a little sponsorship going on. So yeah, hey, just sit back for a second, and we’ll be right back.
Hey guys, it’s just about harvest time, and I know some of you’ve even started to chop some plants down and hang them up to dry. Well, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a large scale operation or just as you and a mom and pop. You need a trim machine, and I understand hand trim is considered the best way to go. But sometimes you just can’t do that, or sometimes a trim machine gives a little aid and finishing out your crop. So if you’re interested in a trimmer machine of any type, especially the GreenBroz trim machine, give us a call at Cultivate OKC or Cultivate Colorado. You can even check us out at cultivatecolorado.com or cultivateokc.com. Now some of you might think the quality goes down with machine trim product, and tell you the truth in the past, and we definitely saw some mangled buds. But now most of the commercial operations and most of the small mom and pop operations are using a machine trimmer or looking into one. So check out the GreenBroz Trim Machine today.
I’ve been around weed my whole life, I’ve been around cannabis most of my life, and all my humble friends they down the autoflower quality can we talk about that?
Chef Anna: Yeah, absolutely. In my experience, if you have good genetics, good skills, good environment, get good quality weed man, I get it. You know, I have a THC percentage everywhere 18 up to 27% [inaudible], you know what I mean. So like and you look at if I were to go to the dispensaries, sometimes I look on the shelf. And then again here we go, I’m not this is what I tell people, I’m not a scientist man, like the percentage of THC or whatever that doesn’t necessarily in my world mean anything to me because sometimes I smoke weed. [inaudible] THC, and then I felt like I’ve been higher, but weed that was 21%, you know what I mean? Like I notice factors involved.
So all I say is if you’re a good grower get some good quality autoflower genetics and grow a plant, and if you grow this autoflower strain that’s good genetics and your good conditions, which are good skill and it’s not quality, and there’s something wrong with you. Do you know what I’m saying? I roll in good quality weeds. I can only speak for what I’m doing. And I’m looking at the people that follow me, and then they’re on the auto way, and they’re growing good quality weed at home, and they’re all realizing like, oh, okay, yeah, people say autos are bad.
If you're a good grower get some good quality autoflower genetics and grow a plant - Chef Anna Click To Tweet
Maybe the last time they grow auto was 1998. You know, understand like, I don’t know when the last time they grew autoflower, I don’t know what their situation was, but if you come over here and smoke with me I promise you will be high, I promise you my weed smell good, I promise you it looks good, that’s the thing check out some of my videos when I walked up to people in the supermarket, and I showed him my jar of weed, there’s one particular guy, he’s like damn, look at all the crystals on that. They’re like people say– when they look at my shit, they look at my shit. That right there lets you know it looks good. Like it isn’t any everyday shit. Like, they double look at my shit like, damn, you understand? And I’m growing auto, so and you don’t know the difference. I don’t walk up to them and tell them hey, this is autoflower you want to try? You want some weed, and they take it good. They go home, and they smoke weed, they don’t know the difference. And I promise you, if we did a taste test, if we did the Pepsi test, with some autoflowers and photoperiods, you’d be high across the board.
Chip Baker: Dude, I love this idea. I think it is the perfect thing for us to do. I’ll show up, some we’ll meet up someplace. I’ll have some photos, you can have some autos, and we’ll do some blind taste tests.
Chef Anna: We play Three Card Monte, but we just shuffle them out loud, and then you start rolling the dice. And we see if we can figure out which one photo and which ones are, that’s a good idea.
Chip Baker: I love it, man. So, man, you’re, I really do like your– I’m a marketer, I’m a salesperson, I’m a business person, and I love cannabis. And I’ve been following your Instagram account, and do you have a marketing background? And you said you were in sales. But did you study marketing? How did you come up with this Instagram idea?
Promoting Cannabis on Instagram
Chef Anna: Yeah, I do have a marketing and advertising background. I’ve been in that industry for almost ten years. So when it comes to creating ads, when it comes to creating content that’s engaging that drives action that causes people to respond that brings up emotion in people, I’ve been doing that for almost all of my life on a lot of different facets, in music, you know what I mean, in photo, video and now it’s just Cannabis, I’m bringing all of that talent and skill that I’ve had, and it’s coming together on this cannabis platform.
That Instagram started for nothing. I tell everybody that all the time, and I was just the guy documenting his growth. I don’t write shit down like that. So I use my Instagram page, take a picture a day one, day two, day three, so I can go back and watch my plants grown like I didn’t know any apps or whatever at the time. And people just started following me over time, and I’m like, Okay, once I got to kind of like 2,000 3,000 followers without trying. This is without actual advertising; this is without being on the camera. This is literally just me taking pictures of plants. So it’s no me, it’s no personality involved.
Other than like my captions, and I saw people following that. I’m like, oh, okay, if I put some like this and personalities and creativity into this, I can actually build this into something, I need to kind of like, it wasn’t always Chef Anna, that name is probably a year and a half, two years old. Do you know what I mean? Like it but I’ve been doing this almost four years, but the Instagram page is about four years old. I was auto flowers anonymous when I first started, that was the autoflower page, autoflower anonymous, and I changed it to Chef Anna. And, you know, created a logo. I kind of created the personality, and I’ve been doing that ever since.
Chip Baker: And you mentioned that you’d gotten a letter from Walmart earlier, but have you gotten any like a lash back from Instagram? Or if you do Facebook at all? Or have you been, you know, thrown off–
Chef Anna: All the time. Universal Music blew us a few lines, like all the time, and I used to play the music they would let me do that. Instagram all the time. Instagram seems to be that address all the time if I shut my page on if I do this if I do that, but that’s not just me either. That’s the entire cannabis community right now.
Chip Baker: All of us.
Chef Anna: Yeah, a lot of people to fill in that. I used to feel like it was only me like, you know, but I would always get abandoned black, but that’s kind of happening across the board now, but who cares? I mean, like, if they take the page down, I started another page. It’s digital. Chef Anna is me, Chef Anna is not the Instagram page. So if that page goes away, I just make another page. And we keep it moving. We start out.
Chip Baker: I mean, we live in this free country supposedly where we can say anything we want, and I’m not saying go buy weed from me. I’m not saying I got weed on sale. We’re not doing any of that, it’s just education and with my grow sites, you know, called the Big Colorado course I’m selling equipment. Yeah, man, we get stereotyped all the time. We get thrown out of things all the time. I’ve had a lock on my followers, for I don’t know, maybe 30-40 days right now. To all my followers haven’t grown at all. And I normally get like one or 200 people a week that follow me. So yeah, I should have had 800 people follow me in the past month, and we have we’ve actually lost a couple of, you know, subscribers, following.
Chef Anna: And I’ve been saying the same thing, but see, the thing is, I’ve been doing social media for a long time I had a popular Twitter account, I won’t say your name, some people might know it. But I built a Twitter account that had 25-30,000 followers. I had a MySpace account back when MySpace was first out there had 50,000, some with some music type of stuff you know what I mean? So like I’m, I’ve been used to kind of figuring out ways to get engagement even with mine like I might be stuck at certain numbers for a while, but you got to come up with ways to get around those algorithms like I’ll come up with– you know, follow appreciation nights, where you know, you have people share your stuff. Like you know, you got to do stuff like that, just come up with ways outside the box like you can’t look at Instagram and be like you know, Instagram doesn’t show anybody my you know my stuff. Who are you showing your stuff to? You know what I’m saying like. You got to get your stuff out. You got to come up with it, and I’m not saying you specifically I’m talking about–
Chip Baker: I get it. Start portion on me, Chef man, can do a better job bro.
Chef Anna: What I’m saying, I’m trying to let you know like, we just got to come up with better ways and look better ways you know more creative ways to get your stuff seeing. Because they’re not gonna– I realized with this last band, like usually like you said I’ve come off a band where I’ll be only getting one or two followers a day and then when you get off your band we’re getting back to your hundred or whatever followers a day. Now that I’m off my band, I’m still not getting followers, and that’s when I realized okay they definitely changed the game, but like it’s like the good old days are over like you got to come up with other ways to get same.
Chip Baker: Can you know we talked about you being a cannabis personality, or an influencer, is there some economy behind your Instagram account? Are you doing business in some way?
What to Expect from Chef Anna?
Chef Anna: Yeah, I got Grow Like Chef, a grow guide is on Amazon, we got our Amazon store, we get traffic from that, twitch streaming, revenue from that, different ways. I got a media kit that I’m getting ready to put out, so I’ll be doing promotions in ways that I hadn’t seen other people doing. I’ll be doing promotions for brands and businesses, and I’m excited about that. So now I’m doing it full time. I will really be able to show you guys what I can do in terms of turning this up, turning this lane up, turning this whole autoflower wave up the cannabis industry, I’m gonna flip it all upside down.
Chip Baker: You don’t need any cannabis events, or you just local or?
Chef Anna: Just local for the most part. I want to start getting out there and going to some events, but I’ll shoot you straight and be candid with you like, I’m not an event, but once I get to an event, I don’t know if it’s just me but like after a couple of minutes, I’m ready to go back home, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older. Or, like a lot of times, it’s not a whole lot to do.
That’s why I’ll give you a sneak peek, man, and this will be locally at first, maybe it’ll turn into something bigger. It’ll be locally at first, but I’m going to start doing my cannabis events up here, and it’s going to be unique, it’s going to be different. I have not seen anybody doing what I have planned. It’s going to be cannabis advanced where it’s some stuff to do, where it’s fun, actually a party. Where it’s turned up, you know what I mean? I can’t wait to do that. That’s going to be crazy. So, events, you know that’s something we’ll be dabbling in. I’m excited to kind of show you what I got planned for that as well.
Chip Baker: Yeah, this new cannabis culture that we’re developing right now because before it was all– I grew up mostly in Northern California, and it’s a bunch of white guys that want to be Rosta because we’re all super stoned up there. Right? And you know, there’s the California weed culture, and so there’s this whole quite Rasta and north cow beach culture. That’s been like you know, my cannabis culture.
I mean, I grew up when I was a kid in Georgia, there’s not much cannabis culture there, but we’re developing a new culture now with this ability for it to have events like we’re talking about, right? To have like a tasting or cannabis party of some sort or you know, cannabis Olympics and, you know, we get this opportunity to develop a culture that’s not just gangster drug dealer oriented. Because I was also as part of our previous cultures, where everyone was a drug dealer that were gangsters, so to speak, they’re all outlaws for sure. Yeah, now I’m excited, man, to like see so many different people come out for cannabis. So many like new events, you know, like man, like in Denver you can get picked up by a Tesla, and the driver will hand you some joints, and take it to the dispensary.
Isn’t that great? And I’m sure they could do that in Detroit too. But, you know, I was just at an event the other day about one of my customers bloom county, and we have public consumption in Denver now. And they rented out a public consumption place. I mean, it wasn’t like a fluent or high frills. It was kind of lowbrow. It was perfect. Just like– he was almost just like you were in your backyard of your buddy’s house. That type of stuff is something we need because, in the past, you just got to the alleys or the bathroom. Or whatever the bar the club he gets done you come back, and you get paranoid, and but yeah it’s great now we can go to socialize with cannabis so to speak.
Chef Anna: And that’s not really changed the game is well man, like having places like that at least in my experience going to events like that is less violence less aggression, and things like that so real chill places I’m excited to see those kinds of start popping up all over the place out here.
Weed Culture in Michigan
Chip Baker: Man, so Michigan’s gone recreational they have rec shops all over now are they just starting to come along online?
Chef Anna: We got dispensaries they’re not officially rec shops yet. I think that’ll happen next year, or sometime soon, hopefully. But that’ll be exciting to see how that goes down. Yeah, I can’t wait to see that. It’s gonna be crazy.
Chip Baker: And many people don’t realize how much the weed culture is in Michigan. Lots of lots of people you know have come to us or come through Michigan in some manner, and you know it’s one of those states that pop up I don’t know why, I don’t even know if you realize this but like, Michigan’s got a history of growing weed–
Chef Anna: Yeah, definitely yeah, we always had good weed, and I mean even when I first started smoking, we used to have good weed back and back to your home, so yeah. We start to become you know one of the most popular in the region, if I have to you know kind of toot our own horn, we really put on, and it’s really gonna change the game what auto city here man. Like auto city is what I’m calling it, that’s when the autoflower wave sweeps over the residents of Detroit man, it’s gonna be an auto city, it’s gonna be amazing. I can’t wait.
Chip Baker: I see this vision, man, there’s auto flowers growing, and everybody’s home. People are smoking out, giving weed to people. People are cooking barbecues, and potato salad with ganja in, and I love it, man.
Chef Anna: Exactly it’s a beautiful thing everybody handing out weed–
Chip Baker: Man, how’d you come up with this name? Chef Anna?
Why, Chef Anna?
Chef Anna: I took the “Anna” out of cannabis; that way, you can’t spell it without me; you’re not going nowhere. I’ll be down here cooking, and I’m down here in the kitchen cooking. So Chef Anna can’t spell it without me, so that’s really, simple. Like people be on me about stuff like that, and they don’t realize that it’s actually all really simple. I’m just a guy that didn’t want to pay for weed or more. Gotta see I took a mop bucket from under my sink, drill holes in the bottom of it got a cheap Chinese LED light hanging in my closet clear the club. As a matter of fact, the clothes we’ve been clear about the closet, I pushed them all the way inside, you know what I’m saying? I’m that guy! It’s that simple, Chef Anna.
Chip Baker: So people look at you wherever you go because you rake a weed. Where are you going? You’re going ganja next year close.
Chef Anna: Oh, yeah. Probably so yeah, absolutely. But you know how it is like you got those [inaudible] like, yeah, people come over and they’re like, yes. Like, if I didn’t really see it like that, so probably sell you, right? But hey man, I was doing whatever it was gonna take to not pay for weed no more. I was doing whatever it was gonna take. And that’s what I’m buying. That’s what Chef Anna is about to do all whatever it takes. Whatever the situation is doing whatever it takes to make it happen.
Growing Weed, Chef Anna’s Style
Chip Baker: Tell me about your grow. How do you like to grow your plants?
Chef Anna: I like these shorter, medium-sized plants. I like the plants that finish fast anywhere between 65 to 75 days from seed, and I like to leave my lights on 24 hours, that way I can kind of start plants whenever I want. I might have some veggies in the corner, some flower, and then this other corner, you’ll really be able to see me probably use my full creativity when I get this grow room done, and I’m gonna have more space so I can experiment with larger plant sizes.
I’ve been taking grower for the last couple of years, so stepping into the grow room is gonna be really exciting to kind of tackle those obstacles and challenges if there are any. I think it can pretty much be relatively smooth and just maintaining the environment, and just keeping them on a rotation that’s really my growth style always dropping something new, keeping them in rotation.
Chip Baker: So you’re grown in soil and pots you hand water?
Chef Anna: Oh you want to super detail, yeah, just growing– [inaudible]
Chip Baker: I’m interested in all that shit. I want to hear all man.
Chef Anna: Yeah. So I dabbled in hydro before I found it. I’m a simple guy. I like them more set it and forget it style of soil, mixing up my nutrient water and I’m coming back a couple of days and recruit, checking it. So yeah, like soil, I hand water. And I spend a lot of time with my plants. Like if you follow me on the gram, you already know how I named my plants. You know, I come down and talk to them. I play music for them, you know, that kind of stuff.
So like I get involved in my grow to like, it’s not just an operation that I’m just trying to churn and burn and make some money. I give away weed, you know I’m saying, so I give it away for [inaudible]. So I’ve never sold weed, my friends might come over and leave me at $20 bill you know I’m saying take a handful of weed home, but I’m not selling weed you’re not again like it’s not for that. Like I produce high-quality buds, then I can smoke and not have to ever pay for weed again. And what that led to was, I used to say like, man when I was in Atlanta, I was spending $300-$400 a month plus on weed. You know, I’m saying like even getting up here, I was spending close to $300-400 a month on weed.
Ever since I stopped that row, it’s been four years and saving up all kinds of money. We were able to move into a new house, and you know what I mean? We got money to invest in a brand and a business. That’s the kind of revolution that’s going to happen in America. When all of these people that are out here in you know, like working their middle-class jobs were spending 15-20% of their paycheck on weed once they can start keeping that 15 to 20 percentage their money and start putting it back into their family and engineer sales, you’re going to see a new revolution in our country. People are going to have more money, and people are going to be happier. Do you know what I mean? You’ll see.
Transformed Communities brought by the Cannabis Industry
Chip Baker: I’ve seen it happen. You know, we’ve been following weed my whole life. I left Georgia when I was a kid go to California, and I saw how much good it didn’t all the communities where it was legalized. Right. And I’ve also seen the bad too, but I saw it happen in Santa Cruz, I saw it happen in Humboldt. I saw it happen in Denver. I see it happen right now in Oklahoma city is when the weed industry comes in, a bunch of stuff happens. One is just an influx of cool people. Right, some people ever have rolled into Denver and Oklahoma City, and you know, all over the country where there’s, you know, Spokane, Washington where they needed to be a cool injection of people, and then like they’ve hired all these other people. All the locals, all new people, also moved to the town to work for all these ganja entrepreneurs. Man, the housing values go up, people’s quality of life goes up, man, it totally transforms communities man.
When we moved to Denver in 2009, I remember going downtown, driving downtown, and there was just like this huge open-air drug prostitution market people dealing crack-smoking heroin, right on the park just hundreds of people. And then we got legalized, I mean, all that shit will seem to go away. Right? Like that same part, today does not have that many people in there, and you walk in those same neighborhoods, and you don’t get harassed by the local junkies and whatnot. Right, and I believe it’s because everybody started getting a little weed. And you know, if you need to self medicate yourself, you’re going to medicate with whatever it is, and you get weed, and it’s enough, and it starts to be where you can think about your life and the negative and positive things you’re doing. And I truly believe it is, I’ve seen it transform several communities. So you’re right, man, it’s going to change it all for us, it’s going to help us change it.
Chef Anna: Absolutely, it’s definitely gonna change everything. I’m a witness to it and to how it changed my life and my family. So I’m excited to see all the people that are jumping up or growing their own, whatever you decide to grow. Like I said, I’m never gonna be here to tell you what y’all should grow. But actually, I should grow. I choose autoflowers because they fit my style and my personality perfectly. And I know there are a lot of people out there like me, and I think it would be perfect for y’all too.
Chip Baker: Absolutely, man. Well, hey, man, we’re gonna have to get you on some of our soil grow, or soil get you sponsored on a couple of things for that grow room. I’m excited about what you’re doing. And man, I really appreciate you taking time out today to chat with me. It’s been a great time, man. Thank you.
Chef Anna: Yeah, absolutely. I had a great time. Thanks for having me.
Chip Baker: Oh, man, that was a great episode. I just really love what Chef Anna what the pot is doing man, he’s keeping the culture alive and develop a new culture, and really like pushing people’s boundaries on who they think cannabis users are. You can feel like the love and the energy he has for weed. And, man, I just feel like I and Chef could sit here and chill and smoke pound after pound of fine ganja. I enjoyed learning about autoflowers and something I’ve really been interested in. And, I’m always a skeptic, but I’ll tell you what, as soon as people start talking about it over and over and over again, you can’t just discount what’s going on.
Autoflowers are the future in many, many ways. I mean, they mimic the other same crops like tomatoes and tomatoes and have a certain amount of days for them to grow and be harvested, and in the same way. So definitely look for auto flower revolution, have always seen it outside, but wow, Chef Anna has gotten me to want to grow a little ornamental autoflower, and figure out who to do that with. But thanks again, thanks for joining me. I know your time is precious. And I appreciate you listening to this episode of The Real Dirt.