By: Tim Sultan
Since opening its commercial kitchen two months ago, the Mint Dispensary has earned a quick reputation as a favorite takeout spot for young professionals and retirees alike.
in October 2018, The Mint fired up its pizza oven and began serving veggie burgers and fresh baked goods to MMJ card holders in the Tempe area. The “Mint Cafe” is the first cannabis kitchen of its kind anywhere.
Owners credit their Tempe location’s culinary success to the personal touch of Executive Chef Carylann Principal. The Mint’s COO, Raul (Ray) Molina, said they searched far and wide for just the right person to build out their kitchen. CEO Eivan Shahar said they knew instantly, when they met Carylann, that she was the right one to design their menu and lead the kitchen staff.
For Carylann Principal, providing patients with healthful, delicious medicine is personal. Carylann is a cancer survivor herself and has been cooking with cannabis for a decade. She cares. She’s a food doctor.
Executive Chef, Carylann Principal, is “trying new ways to heal people with food.”
Looking around her world-class, commercial kitchen, Executive Chef Carylann Principal tells me about her long journey. She remembers paying her dues as a young second chef in New York 30 years ago when the restaurant business was male-dominated. With her beaming smile and optimistic attitude, Ms. Principal continues, “I love food, so I just followed what I liked.” That path took her to Le Cordon Bleu, to London, and to Hawaii where she mastered new styles and spices.
After a 30-year cooking career, Carylann Principal has a lot of tricks up her sleeve. Curious to her core, Chef Carylann discovers new recipes in unlikely places. “My favorite thing to do is, talk to people about food. I’ll ask them what do they do with this or that? How do they cook it? I’ll go talk to the little old Indian lady, or Chinese lady or Japanese grandmother about how they make their food. They are just so excited to share their food with you. And nobody asks them. They tell me that ‘this goes with that’ and ‘if you’re going to cook with this, you have to do that.’”
Last week The Mint featured “Purple Haze” cupcakes using ube, a purple Filipino yam.
The Mint’s full-service kitchen serves medical marijuana-infused vegetarian dishes all day. Everything is made from scratch and orders are ready in 5-10 minutes. Stop by for a 100mg snickerdoodle or a 250mg raspberry pop tart. Hurry before the holiday pies are all gone.
Carylann said, “We’re getting a lot of new patients, and they don’t know what they should be taking and how much to dose. I always tell people to start off really low, and see how your body feels.” Everyone in the dispensary is knowledgeable in recommending doses.
Something that stands out at The Mint is that they care more about patients than profits. Although the owners did not mention it during our interview, The Arizona Cannabis Monthly learned from some budtenders that the owners have been known to donate medicine to cancer patients and other patients in need. For this dispensary, it’s not all about profits.
Arizona MMJ cardholders can stop by The Mint 7 days a week 8am-9pm (open until 10pm on Th, Fri, and Sat) for a scrumptious take-out meal that is vegetarian, healthful and medicated!
The Mint Dispensary
5210 S Priest Dr, Guadalupe, AZ 85283
And if you forget to pick up cash on the way, The Mint has an ATM onsite that only costs one measly dollar ($1).