By Jill Goldsberry

Who Is ButACake Founder Matha Figaro?

Matha Figaro is the founder of cannabis edibles brand ButACake and the independent manufacturing company CannPowerment. The Haitian-American entrepreneur, a trained pastry and fine dining chef with a degree from Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts, has made history in the cannabis space with both her pioneering of unique consumable products and her meteoric grassroots-to-legal transition. Based in New Jersey, Figaro established ButACake in 2015 when she realized that infused baked goods could fill a need for medical cannabis patients. In recent years, her company has become one of the most prominent independent edibles brands on the East Coast - particularly with the launch of ButACake's fast-dissolving oral strips (think like a breath freshener, except tasty and delivering a perfect dose of THC).

Today, Figaro is a groundbreaker: ButACake is the first Black woman-owned, independently operated edibles brand in New Jersey, with CannPowerment as the state's first social equity licensee. Her products are also available at dispensaries in Delaware.

Matha Figaro, founder of ButACake (C) ButACake

In honor of Black History Month and Women's History Month, Figaro sat down with noted media and broadcast professional Jill Goldsberry to discuss her journey in cannabis and New Jersey's developing legal market.

JILL GOLDSBERRY: You are now representing New Jersey cannabis in a way we have not seen before in the mainstream. You are a Black woman, and the first Haitian licensed manufacturer in the state. You've won awards! How does that feel to be this empowered in this new industry, in New Jersey of all states?

MATHA FIGARO: It feels like nothing new to me. I've been doing this since 2016; nothing has changed except now it's complicated because I have to deal with regulators and the tax man. But it's nice to see the rest of the state catch up and recognize my efforts. Being NJ-born and raised, there's no place I'd rather be doing what I'm doing. I'm not nearly as excited when I'm forced to go to other states and take up space that should belong to someone local. So being home in NJ, making my money here, contributing financially, while generating NJ wealth for myself and my teammates, is exciting.

Did the latest changes in New Jersey laws, which finally allow certain edibles on the shelves of retail stores, inspire you to create a different product? Baked goods are still not legally available for sale in the market. Or did you already decide to introduce a new product all along?

Everything I make in legal markets, I've always made underground. Because of NJ's very, very, very slow rollout of edible regulations, I had to go to Delaware to generate revenue; they allow baked goods. The legal market and its over-regulation aren't inspiring to me. It's frustrating. NJ took 160 days to approve ButACake strips, a product I started selling in the hemp market years prior. I'm inspired by the people and patients who tell me how to best help through my craft.  

I'm hearing from dispensary owners that people are asking for baked goods, but they’re just not allowed yet. The stores want to order them, but the laws are not up to date with the demand. Have you been able to be vocal with the powers that be in New Jersey about this?

Yes, I helped write proposed regulations for the market in collaboration with [the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association (NJCBA)]. Even with all of that, as of 12/18/23, I've been waiting 120 days for baked goods approval. [Note: The state's Cannabis Regulatory Commission has subsequently updated its regulations on edible products, and is still considering public comments on items including baked goods.]

As a trained pastry chef, what, if any, were your fears about entering this market?

My only fear about entering this market was putting myself out there. As a chef and former legacy operator... I never had an interest in my name and face being so out there. I was worried that my unregulated past would mess up my potential legal future. Other than that, I fear nothing. I'm excited to watch the journey unfold. 

Figaro vending in Jersey City in 2015 shortly after creating the brand (C) ButACake

In my world, we're just people. The team I had in the unregulated market is the same team I have in the legal market. No "bros"... just friends. I haven't had to convince anyone to take a chance on my small business for that reason. We have bootstrapped this mission and only have one investor, who is an Afro-Latina woman and also a longtime former legacy customer of ButACake. I think people are receptive to the brand and myself because the only focus is quality products for any and everyone to enjoy. 

That’s the way it should be. You have quite the legacy rep for baking some of the best cookies and brownies in the area. What's been the reaction in the medical space from clients in Delaware? Has this opened any other doors in the medical cannabis sector for you?

Delaware medical patients show me SO much love! Brownies sell out every single week. I find that working in medical markets fueled my passion and creativity more. The adult-use markets are so big, that I lose touch with people, but the products can reach many, many more.  

Let's talk about the strip! The ButACake strip is a 20mg package of two [which is also gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan and THC-full]. What inspired the two-pack? How did you decide on the dosage? Tell me more about the effects. 

The two-pack happened because there were no grab-and-go options. Everything in legal weed from an edibles perspective is too big, too chunky, and too sugary. So I wanted to put out an affordable option. I wanted to put out a discreet option, an edible that no one would even realize was an edible. The dosage was decided according to the national and state standard of 10mg per dose. The current version of the strip has a lovely body high. Perfect for day or night as an addition to your current routine. 

Now that the new strip is available in retail shops in New Jersey, what is next? Will New Yorkers get a chance? What are your hopes for this product?

We are in 10 New Jersey shops! As far as New York goes, right now we're not licensed to operate there. [But eventually] I hope that this product touches every hand that needs its help.

When I'm ready to quit, I don't go to the industry for support. I go to my parents, who immigrated here from Haiti with nothing. They made a lot out of nothing and there's no better motivator to have than that. I also lean on my friends, the ones I run this business with and the ones [who] were by my side as I grew this business. Honestly, I haven't felt like giving up on ButACake since 2017/2018 when my friend Lex told me there was no going back. Still to this day, I thank him for pushing me to keep going.  

Figaro with Cannademix founder Josh Alb (center) at Restore the Shore in Atlantic City, October 2022, and members of the Legacy Panel: Kashawn McKinley of the Atlantic City Cannabis Review Board, Jelani Gibson of NJ Cannabis Insider, and attorney Amber Littlejohn (C) Cannademix

Lastly, I have to remind folks that you are an award-winning trained professional pastry chef who has tons of restaurant experience. Can we hope and pray for a ButACake brick-and-mortar pop-up? 

In legal cannabis, I’m not a chef anymore since I’m a manufacturer, and I will never run a brick-and-mortar. But I will forever supply all of the brick-and-mortar warriors with the best possible products I can make.  

Okay, I tried! (Laughs)

For more about Matha Figaro and ButACake, visit To learn more about CannPowerment, visit


Written By:

Jill Goldsberry is a media and communications professional who is also a lifestyle contributor. She has contributed beauty and wellness articles to Women’s Health online, Heart & Soul,, and Black Yoga Magazine. She has been a featured beauty blogger in Oprah magazine, Essence, The Just Ask David Podcast, and Seventeen magazine. On air she has co-hosted segments for StyleMusicTV covering brands like Havaianas, Kiehls, and the Tribeca Film Festival. She is currently the Garden State News Host for Pro Cannabis Media a network covering the cannabis industry from state to state. Off-duty, some of her favorite things include time for self-love with long beach days, bike rides, hot yoga and HIIT workouts, and taking trips that encompass wellness whenever possible.

@goldenmediarelations (IG)


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Featured image: Matha Figaro, founder of ButACake (C) ButACake