Oakland-based journalist Ellen Holland is the Editor in Chief of High Times Magazine. She has covered the cannabis space since 2013, and outside her journalism has worked on a wide variety of cannabis-themed books, podcasts, and other media projects. Holland’s own book Weed: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Cannabis explores how the aroma and taste profiles of the botanical can help us better understand the effects of the strains we smoke.

Ellen Holland: From High Times To Weed: A Connoisseur's Guide To Cannabis

In her loving homage to beautiful bud, Holland takes her audience on a journey into the heart of how cannabis is farmed, produced, and appreciated today. Now that cannabis is a product available in many parts of America, there have been significant headways in our understanding and appreciation of the botanical. Weed: A Connoisseur's Guide to Cannabis steps in to help readers with the buying and tasting tips they need to find the perfect puff.

Throughout the book, Holland and other industry experts discuss cannabis cultivars, their flavors, their effects, and how you can use cannabis in unexpected ways (in food, floral displays, cocktails, as a wellness practice, and much more). Along the way, readers meet some of the farmers and producers blazing a trail in today's booming cannabis marketplace and delve into the science behind the high. There’s also a foreword by world renowned chef Cat Cora of Iron Chef America fame.

(C) Epic Ink, courtesy of Ellen Holland

Cannabis Pioneer Steve DeAngelo Praises Ellen Holland's Weed: A Connoisseur's Guide To Cannabis

No less a figure than cannabis pioneer Steve DeAngelo has praised Holland’s work, saying that she “speaks with the authority that comes only with long experience and deep dedication. She knows cannabis because she has lived cannabis.”

Readers venturing into Weed: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Cannabis can learn about numerous sensory aspects to the plant, including: Blind tasting cannabis, cannabis cocktails, cannabis dining, cannabis terroir, luxury innovations, weed-focused events, and sustainable practices.

Courtesy of Ellen Holland

Ellen Holland's Weedsday Playlist For Focused Writing

Fittingly, Holland delivered for us what she terms “A playlist for focused writing. These tracks help me stay on track when I’m writing about weed.”

Ali Farka Touré - "Heygana"

I love to listen to [Touré’s 1990] The River album while I’m writing. The opening track, punctured by a harmonica, sets the tone for this African blues album with melodic meditative rhythms. The whole album is upbeat and flows in the perfect way to inspire, but not distract me, from the editorial tasks at hand.

Click here to play on Spotify!

The Greasy Gills - "Mr. Rebel"

This is my sativa song. This surf rock track reminds me of the Brothers of Eternal Love smuggling hashish and seeds from equatorial locations in their surfboards. All of the music from the Greasy Gills has the get-up-and-go of a classic cultivar in the Haze family.

Click here to play on Spotify!

Mulatu Astatke - "Yègellé Tezeta"

When I’m writing about weed I generally listen to instrumental songs to keep my focus. I discovered this track by shuffling through the record collection at my longtime gig as a gallery assistant at The Compound Gallery. This one sounds cinematic.

Click here to play on Spotify!

Oliver Mtukudzi - "Hear Me Lord"

This is my track when I need a mental boost from the total collapse of society. I attended the Reggae on the River festival for many years with all my original pot smoking pals. This song has that driving beat that gets me dancing.

Click here to play on Spotify!

Mendo Dope - "Long Time Coming"

I had to include a track from one of my favorite groups, Mendo Dope. The brothers behind this band grow incredible forests of cannabis and make really great music often about growing pot in a musical style they’ve coined “cannabis culture.” I love this track because it shouts out one of my main mentors, Ed Rosenthal, and always leaves me feeling good with its positive message of reaping the rewards of hard work.

Click here to play on Spotify!

For more about Ellen Holland's book WEED: A CONNOISSEUR'S GUIDE TO CANNABIS, now available from Epic Ink, click here. See more of her work at hightimes.com.

What are your favorite Weedsday tracks? Tell us about them - reach out at @honeysucklemagazine on Instagram and @HoneysuckleMag on Twitter!

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Ellen Holland

High Times

Steve DeAngelo

Mendo Dope

Zoe Wilder


Featured image: Ellen Holland (C) Grace Malley