I was shooting the shit and lounging at Minerva's CBD and coffee bar in Santa Fe when a little asshole came through the front door, breathing through his mouth and letting the badge on his hip drag him into the room. The loud and clumsy scent of unearned authority rushed into the room. His companion—a somewhat embarrassed looking man carrying the distinct counter-smell of a civilian—closed the door behind them and slunk into the foyer.
I couldn't make out much of what he said to the receptionist, but the angle of his hips and the heavy shift of his shoes told me he was some kind of civil goon working for the city or county and looking to swing his badge around and impress the sidekick (probably a visiting brother-in-law or ex-college roommate). The other man tried to appear casual as he searched the room's corners for a houseplant he could hide behind. He avoided eye contact at all costs.
The receptionist (who would later be introduced as assistant manager Jose) allowed his eyes to flash briefly before his jaw clenched. From behind the check-in desk, he said something that made the little asshole's shoulders melt and sent him reeling out the door in seconds. The sidekick followed, tense and still feigning nonchalance.
I watched the whole thing go down while one of the budtenders made some sort of chocolatey coffee drink that filled the bar area with a thick and sultry aroma. Jose came over. Heat radiated from him. “He said he wanted to look at the grease traps. I told him he better make an appointment. I don't go letting random people snoop in our kitchen.”
Meanwhile, I was about to get a tour of that same kitchen. I hadn't planned on checking any grease traps, but I did have an appointment.
The baker hadn't clocked in yet, so I decided to spend my time shopping. The Santa Fe Minerva location has a fairly open design with the ambiance of a cool cave in summer. It's comfortable, relaxed and seems like a nice place to take a nap. As with the ABQ location, the variety of available flower and edibles was hefty, and I ended up choosing a bud by smell: Laughing Buddha (THC: 17.9%, CBD: unlisted—$10/gram). Since I was visiting the bakery, I figured I just had to pick up a sugary treat. The carrot cake (80mg THC—$11) and brownie (80mg THC—$11) were tempting, but I ended up settling on a slightly burned piece of cheesecake (80mg THC—$11) … because cheesecake.
I still had some time to waste, so I talked about food to my budtender Dylan. He's a texture over taste man. I can appreciate that. “I wouldn't eat avocados until last year,” he said. It was shameful. He told me a story about how he once ate spaghetti and then started running. It made him throw up.
Right on time, the baker started making noise in the kitchen—my cue to walk back and get slapped in the face with the smells of cannabis mixed with buttery decadence. The edibles offered at every Minerva location came from this very room. My mouth seemed overly wet as I introduced myself to Julayne. She was in the middle of filling THC capsules, a relatively new item on the menu that's becoming increasingly popular. Apparently, some people actually enjoy dosing themselves without all the sugar, carbs and guilt associated with cakes and pastries. It's shameful.
On the counter, cubes of hard candy rested on baking sheets. Julayne showed me the chocolate station and allowed me to inspect a rack of empty trays where future baked goods would cool. Bottles of soda lined up a shelf nearby. She explained that THC is added to all of the sodas at the same time to ensure uniform dosage. I've had a bottle of the soda before. It was strawberry-
Which was basically my plan. I thanked her for the tour, and hurried home to try my self-indulgent treat. The hour drive was riddled with mental images of mouth-watering cheesecake morsels, and I gave in to a tiny bite when I pulled into the driveway at home. I mentioned it was a tad burnt. It had a brown scorch mark on the top, and the crust was a little dry, but overall, it was a solid piece of decadent and rich cheesecake. Julayne had been right, and there wasn't a hint of the grassy cannabis taste that can show up in other mediums. I filled a tumbler with milk and went grimly about my work devouring the whole thing.
Within an hour, my extremities were buzzing pleasantly and it felt like angels were tickling my toes. My appetite was spiking, so I kicked the cherubs away and went looking for a snack. All I could find was a bowl of leftover spaghetti. For shame.