BY CHRISTINA WONG OF FRUIT + FLOWER CO. | Images courtesy of Big Pete’s Treats
You could say it was love at first bite. I never thought I’d be the type to fall head over heels so quickly, especially for a packaged cookie. I’m the kind of gal who goes for the fresh-baked, still-warm-from-the-oven, crispy-on-the-edges, chewy-in-the-center type. But here I was, smitten like a teenager in love after my first bite of a Big Pete’s Treats cookie.
The taste of pure sugary joy and intense creative high that followed led me down a rabbit hole to find out what the *catnip* was in that cookie and why was the high so damn good?
To make the irresistible even more luscious and decadent, I made Cookie Butter using Big Pete’s cookies to create a cannabis-infused spreadable version of speculoos. Get the recipe here.
I caught up with with Pete Feurtado Jr. about what it’s like running a family business with his father, Big Pete; their crazy delicious, effective cookies; and their all-new cannabutter launch.
CHRISTINA WONG: Hi! I’m such a big fan of your brand and cookies. I had the best creative high after eating one of your sativa cookies and I've been a huge fan ever since. What’s your secret?
PETE FEURTADO JR.: Our secret sauce is our cannabutter. We go through the long process to make full spectrum cannabutter instead of mixing in distillate. Cannabutter is better!
Why do you go through the great lengths to make and use cannabutter for your cookies?
We believe cannabutter is the most high quality way to make edibles and we believe in the power of the full spectrum benefits.
I read on your site that you call making cannabutter the “old-fashioned way” and you do it because you like how it feels. Why?
You get that full-body high. I like to compare it as a joint versus a vape pen. Our cookies are more like smoking a joint, where a distillate edible will give you more vape-like effects.
What’s the difference between eating cookies made with cannabutter compared with edibles made with extracts?
Cannabutter edibles will hit harder and last longer. Your body will also have an easier time digesting edibles made with cannabutter versus an edible made with oil.
And I saw that you’re selling cannabutter now?
Yes, this has been years in the making. We started with a test market in the Bay Area in early August. Now you can make anything you want with Big Pete's Original Cannabutter. My favorite is melting some cannabutter on my popcorn.
Oh hell yeah, I’m definitely trying that cannabutter popcorn! As a cannabis baker, I’ve always wondered why there weren’t more pre-packaged, infused butter available for purchase so people can cook and bake quality edibles at home. What’s your secret to making cannabutter? Can you share any tips for the home bakers?
The key is to slow cook. You never want to burn the butter.
That is a great tip. Keeping temps low and slow will prevent the dairy solids in the butter from scorching. I wrote about this for Ember in my guide “Cooking & Baking with Cannabis: A Complete Beginner’s Guide” for ideal infusion temperatures. So how did you get started making cookies? And why cookies out of all baked things?
We started with a chocolate chip cookie, snickerdoodle, and peanut butter cookies. From day one, everyone loved our cookies and we decided to focus on what we do best. Going forward, we will slowly start to offer more cannabis foods. We launched a vegan and gluten-free line of coconut cookies last year.
What and when was your calling to help people through cannabis? What was that moment when you realized this is what you wanted to do?
In the early years, we did a lot of events like Hempcon where we got to meet so many patients that ate our cookies for medical benefits. Hearing those stories is what kept us going through those early years.
I love that you’re a family business. How did that evolve?
It all started with our dad Big Pete going to Oaksterdam University. For his class project, he did a business plan for a cannabis cookie brand. He wanted to start a business so his kids could have jobs, and since then we have built what we feel is the #1 cannabis cookie brand in the world.
What are the best parts of being a family business? What are the hardest parts?
The best part is working with your family and people you can trust. We have a lot of fun. I don’t think there is a hard part—having a family business is the best. When you support Big Pete's Treats, you are supporting a family business and we thank you for that.
Because I’m a baked baker and I love desserts... What’s your favorite dessert to make with your cookies?
An ice cream sundae with double chocolate cookies. We have a lot of recipes on our blog page on our website.
Check out Christina's recipe for the easiest-to-make, THC-infused Cookie Butter here—made with Big Pete’s Treats cookies, of course!
Christina Wong is a culinary cannabis writer, educator, recipe developer, content creator, baked baker, and baking show host who’s earned accolades for her imaginative and delectable creations, including a contest-winning pie that KCRW’s Evan Kleiman called “f*&%ing delicious." She’s the Founder & CEO of Fruit + Flower Co., a creative media company that brings together cannabis and food in intriguing and sometimes unexpected ways. Her work has been featured in High Times, Cherry Bombe, CannaCurious, and Kitchen Toke Magazine.