Still Here, Still Alive: Marijuana Mooncakes (@marijuanamooncakes)
Yashica T4 – Kodak Ultramax 400
If there is any lesson that I took away from the pandemic, it is that self-care is a critical process in maintaining our mental health. It isn’t always a thought that comes to mind when we experience burnout. I believe we tend to mix up our bodies’ screams of exhaustion as signs that we “accomplished” a lot of our tasks and the “self-care” that is granted to us is restful sleep or waking up a little later than usual. If we’re honest, we’re just running ourselves into the ground. But fortunately, this past year gave us the cold splash of realization that we NEED to start taking time off to discover what kind of self-care that uniquely works for each of us. It could be simple as baking pastries for ourselves, watching your favorite K-pop boyband performances, playing games, or vegging out on the couch. I want to introduce a brand that was introduced to me through friends that led me to explore the world of infused goods, and that I have had the opportunity to watch grow and enjoy many of its creations. Allow me to introduce you to Marijuana Mooncakes. Marijuana Mooncakes was started with the intention of expressing our passion and joy for weed by infusing a Chinese treat with cannabis. Growing up in Chinese culture that looked down on cannabis, William (Moonbaker @phattylam) and his best friend Tom (co-creator @tomngo422) thought it would be fun to try infusing a mooncake with weed. As they started passing out what they called “Moonies” to family and friends to try, the feedback they received was very positive and this encouraged them to keep going. Marijuana Mooncakes first launched in January 2020. Soon after that, in March 2020 the lockdown began for the pandemic and that’s when MM found an opportunity to continually bake and sell Moonies.
The creative behind baking the Mooncakes is Moonbaker William Lam. After falling in love with cannabis recreationally, he had the opportunity to learn how to cultivate marijuana for 2 years and learned the process of infusing edibles. As the career of cultivation proved complex, he pivoted to focus on infused edibles. William and Tom began thinking of Chinese treats that could be infused, and Tom came with this unique idea about infusing mooncakes and immediately created a Marijuana Mooncake account on Instagram. This began the experiments to make an infused mooncake. Through trial and error, William eventually finalized his recipe for infused mooncakes and he has been “Moonbaking” regularly ever since. His creation makes him happy and grateful to serve a fun unique option for getting high. He began to the see first-hand the medical benefits of cannabis how it is often used for positive service, not just recreation. With William’s passion for Moonbaking and Tom’s experience in business/brand development, MM found success and has been serving its community during the pandemic.
One of the best staff additions to MM through this journey was William’s father, a chef of 40+ years who retired because of the pandemic. He originally was against cannabis but as he watched his son continually bake and grow his business, he began to help prepare mooncakes, which later led him to change his view on weed. During the process, both parents got to see how happy William was and support his business.
Pandemic success allowed MM to explore other opportunities that have opened to them, such as continuing product development for the moonies, moonbakes and their brand.
The latest flavor coming out of the MM kitchen is Pineapple Moonies (which is vegan friendly!) For William, MM is a side gig. He works weekdays and sets aside off hours pulling and baking, then he sets aside weekends to deliver goodies and meet his customers. The Moonies and Moonbakes are baked fresh weekly and best shared with family and friends.
Marijuana Mooncakes is an invite-only Instagram-based business serving infused mooncakes.
You’ve been producing mooncakes for quite some time, I can’t imagine how many orders you have to keep up with, and the time spent creating them. How do you handle the burnout?
I really prioritize my self-care in this process. I have learned how important that has been for me in order to show up for the business. It’s important for me to go into a baking session in a creative vibe. In order to bake with love I got to give love to myself. I treat each day like I have a 100/100 HP points. The more you do, the lower it goes. But if I can find ways to refill it during the day, or keep it steady, I’ll be able to be more present for the business. It’s not easy but I have to constantly keep up with myself to keep the Moonies moving.
In order to do that, I make sure to consistently stay active. I work out at the gym and I enjoy sauna sessions for post recovery, which also helps my mental clarity. I also like to prioritize activities for myself—especially since I bake from home, I do things outside to detach for a bit. Something simple as going to the beach, or taking a walk at the park with my dog is refreshing. Gaming with friends helps keep my edge. Listening to podcasts and EDM music helps me get through my baking sessions. Going out to concerts and connecting with friends is important for me too.
But along with all that, what helps me the most with dealing with burnout is knowing that I am able to be in my passion and joy while doing this. Baking and serving mooncakes have been such a blessing and the feedback and continuous support from others helps me deal with burnout. With all the support from everyone who has bought Moonies & Moonbakes from us continues to fill my cup and I am very grateful for that!