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Photo by Wyatt Early

Budtender of the Month: Ras Fyah “Chef Penn”

One thing I ask people is, ‘How can I get you high?’ That gets people thinking about different consumption methods.

Ras Fyah, better known as Chef Penn, is serving up orders for patients and customers in the dispensary and throwing down in the kitchen on his personal time. Odds are if you are in the industry, you have crossed paths with Ras – bringing a smiling face to the dispensary on a daily basis that you can trust and respect. Be sure to say what’s up when you swing by Sweet Buds, and ask him how you can get your hands on some of his culinary creations!

How did you and Cannabis first meet?
In sixth grade when I was visiting family in Chicago, me and my cousin just rolled up a joint and got high. Blue Dream was the strain that I smoked – that strain was really heavy in the late ‘90s. I loved how it felt mellow even though it was a sativa. We got high that day.

What type of energy do you try to bring into the dispensary?
Awareness is the biggest key and changing people’s perception on things. A lot of people still buy into the indica/sativa thing, and don’t understand that those things are more of a biology structure versus capability of the plant. One of the first things I ask people is, ‘How can I get you high?’ That gets people thinking about the different consumption methods.

What sets you apart in the budtending world?
The people who have been around me and the knowledge I have picked up along the way set me apart … and watching YouTube to immerse myself in Cannabis information and culture. I have also seen the street side of things, and now I get to see a cleaner side of things. I’ve had friends who hustled and I’ve grown myself, so I really see and make myself a part of all sides to this industry.

Tell me about your catering company…
It all started when I was 14 and my mom made something that I was not feeling. I had to learn to cook for myself – and by the time I was in college I was hustling plates out of my dorm room. Curried chicken and jerk chicken were the two plates I was rocking with the most, and still do to this day. A lot of people like the jerk shrimp macaroni. 

Where do you get your passion for food?
If I was going to be that picky about food, I had to figure out what I was going to eat for myself. I also make infused food, using RSO to medicate the dishes I already make on a regular basis.

How has adult use changed the landscape of working in a dispensary?
Some people got shook when it came in and weren’t ready for the whole rush. It was definitely rushed on the legislative side, and we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for it. The recreational customers ask a lot less questions about the products than the medical patients. The rec customers mostly just want to get as high as they possibly can. Prices have skyrocketed as the market changed, which was a shock to many.

Photos by @errlywyatt

About Wyatt Early

Wyatt is a Maryland native, stoner by nature, obsessor of hash rosin. After getting his start in the printing industry with a family company, he took on the role as state director for Maryland Leaf, and frequently contributes to the magazine with photos and articles.

This article was originally published in the September 2023 issue of Maryland Leaf.

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