Honeysuckle is proud to present "Black Gold: A Celebration of Black Cannabis Community Movers and Shakers" in partnership with the Equity Trade Network! Next up in this series of Black History Month profiles, it's the entrepreneurial finesse and craft cannabis magic of Leighton Murdock, founder of Aroma Culinary.

Black Gold: Honeysuckle Magazine And Equity Trade Network Celebrate Black History Month

Drop the needle on Nina Simone's iconic anthem, "Young, Gifted, and Black," because Honeysuckle Magazine is joining forces with Equity Trade Network to unleash a whirlwind of stories, values, and pure personality from the cream of the crop in Black-owned craft brands. This is a celebration with swagger: We’re shining a spotlight on the trailblazers who walk the walk - the community leaders are carving out paths of impact with every puff, pour and product.

Who And What Are The Equity Trade Network?

Who is the Equity Trade Network? They’re the fearless leaders behind the groundbreaking Equity Trade Certification Mark. It's not just a stamp; it's a badge of honor that shouts, "We're here to shake things up!" It’s earned by those dedicated to building equitable ecosystems, where every dollar spent packs a punch of purpose. So get ready to groove to the rhythm of empowerment and progress. Because when Honeysuckle Magazine and Equity Trade Network join forces, history doesn’t repeat itself - it roars into the future.

Chef Leighton Murdock, founder of Aroma Culinary (C) Aroma Culinary

Who Is Aroma Culinary Founder Leighton Murdock?

In the bustling streets of Brooklyn, where the air is thick with the aroma of spices and the pulse of the Caribbean beats, Leighton Murdock is weaving a culinary revolution. As the mastermind behind Aroma Culinary, he's not just cooking up condiments; he's concocting a symphony of flavors that nourish the body and soothe the soul.

Aroma Culinary isn't just a brand, but a lifestyle—a celebration of flavor, wellness, and community. With a lineup of hemp-derived CBD-infused culinary condiments, including hot sauce, barbecue sauce, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper, Leighton is elevating everyday meals into extraordinary experiences. Born out of his own journey towards wellness, Aroma Culinary is a testament to the transformative power of food and the healing properties of CBD.

Cultural Connection: 

For Leighton, cannabis is a part of his cultural fabric. It’sa thread that weaves through the vibrant tapestry of Jamaican and Brooklyn influences. Raised amidst the aroma of weed, he draws inspiration from his roots, infusing his creations with the soulful flavors of the Caribbean and the boldness of Brooklyn street culture.

Soundtrack for Success: 

With Kid Cudi and Kanye West's "Reborn," Fridayy's "Moon Light," and Arin Ray's melodic tunes on his smoking playlist, Leighton's culinary inspiration knows no bounds. Each song is a symphony of flavors, a testament to the eclectic influences that shape his palate and his craft.

Listen to Kids See Ghosts (Kid Cudi and Kanye West's) "Reborn":

*Editor's Note: Want more beats from Kid Cudi? Click here. Want more beats from Kanye? Click here and here.

Favorite “Go To” Munchie: 

When the munchies strike, Leighton indulges in the sweet delight of gummy bears—a nostalgic treat that's as comforting as it is delicious.

Chill Sessions and Connections with Key People:

In a perfect "chill session," Leighton would choose to commune with Nate Dogg—a legendary figure whose smooth vocals and laid-back vibe embody the essence of relaxation and camaraderie.

Aroma Culinary's infused Turmeric and Hot Sauce (C) Aroma Culinary

Favorite Cannabis-Fueled Activity: 

For Leighton, cannabis isn't just about winding down; it's about hitting the open road, with the rhythm of the music and the hum of the engine as his companions.

Challenges and Opportunities:

As a Black entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, Leighton understands the hurdles that lie ahead. From funding challenges to regulatory barriers, he's faced his fair share of obstacles. Yet, through it all, he remains steadfast in his belief that with perseverance and determination, anything is possible.

Looking to the Future: 

Looking ahead, Leighton sees a world of possibilities for the Black community in cannabis. From entrepreneurship to criminal justice reform, the future is bright with potential. With each step forward, he's not just building both a business and a legacy—with a foundation of flavor, wellness, and empowerment.

Aroma Culinary's infused Olive Oil (C) Aroma Culinary

Making a Difference: 

At Aroma Culinary, community is a way of life. From hosting game nights to collaborating with local organizations, Leighton and his team are committed to making a difference, one meal at a time.

As Black History Month unfolds, we celebrate innovators like Leighton Murdock, whose entrepreneurial spirit and culinary finesse are reshaping the cannabis landscape. Through his passion, his creativity, and his unwavering commitment to excellence, he's crafting a future where flavor, wellness, and community thrive.

For more about Leighton and Aroma Culinary, visit aromaculinary.co.

To learn more about Equity Trade Network, visit equitytradenetwork.org. You can also read about Equity Trade Network in Honeysuckle's 17th print edition, featuring Havoc of Mobb Deep. Get your copy now at dispensaries nationwide or click here to order!


Written By:

Jake Wall is the Chief Innovation Officer and one of the trio of co-founders of MAISON BLOOM, the cannabis industry’s first strain-specific, whole-plant, single-barrel beverage brand. A veteran brand builder and growth marketing leader, Wall has a depth of experience across consumer brands, luxury fashion, digital and e-commerce, consumer packaged goods (CPG), and food and beverage/hospitality industries. Wall has played an integral role in shepherding numerous brands to their high-growth and adoption phases including eHOW, LIVESTRONG, JAKE Clothing, Haute Couture French Bubbles, Ayesha Curry’s International Smoke, and Chef Michael Mina’s empire of restaurants (MINA).

During his time with MINA, Wall oversaw branding and market adoption for 45+ different worldwide locations across 10 brands delivering $220M+ in annual revenues. Prior to MINA, he served as Creative Director at JAKE, where he managed a lifecycle of four seasonal product lines, as well as developing a unique custom operation that could operate at scale to deliver $10M+ in annual revenues and secure a successful exit for stakeholders. He has been profiled in publications including BizBash, Inc.com, SF Chronicle, WWD, Marie Claire, and Huffington Post.

@jakesonetoknowone (IG)

Jaime Lubin is Honeysuckle's Editor-At-Large. Her writing has appeared in HuffPost, Observer, Billboard and more. Also an actress and singer, she can be found on Twitter and Instagram.

@jaimelubin (IG)

@jaimelubin (Twitter)


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Leighton Murdock

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Featured image: Chef Leighton Murdock, founder of Aroma Culinary (C) Aroma Culinary