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Erykah Badu

By Amanda Ferron

Oh my, my, my… I’m feeling high…

STILL flying incredibly high off the personal time I got to spend with the one and only, The Godmother of Soul: Erykah Badu. 

When I heard Erykah was going to be presenting an award at the Women’s Canna Awards, I had to gather myself up and not completely “fan girl” over a woman I have looked up to vocally for the majority of my life… But since I was working on the Event Committee for the WCAs this year, that meant I was going to be meeting one of my vocal Idols… And not having a tiny freak out was pretty much impossible.


(Mentally squeals like a 13 year old girl…) 

The effusive and smooth voice of the legendary Ms. Erykah Badu has been soothing my soul since I was a little girl. I love to sing, and singing her songs always has a distinctly effective way of quickly calming me. Since Women’s History Month just ended, what better way to carry that powerful feminine energy into April than to highlight Ms. Badu, her music, and her line of Cannabis: That Badu, which she released in 2023 in partnership with Cookies.

Erykah at the Soul Train Awards. Alamy Stock Photo.

Right Here, What We’re Gonna Do Is Go Back…

Way back, to Erykah as a young musical prodigy. Born in Dallas, Texas on February 26th, 1971, she was surrounded by strong women from a young age. She and her siblings were raised by her Mother, Godmother and Grandmothers, and Erykah would carry that feminine strength with her throughout her life. She found a love for music at an early age, singing and dancing at the Dallas Theater Center at only 4 years old, and playing the piano by age 7. 

Fast forward to 1997… When the world at large got its first taste of Erykah Badu with the release of her debut album: Baduizm. This album ended up reaching #1 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Charts, and won multiple Soul Train Awards, launching her to Stardom. Baduizm went triple platinum, and had her first big hit: “On & On”. The album would also lead to Badu’s first grammys, having “On & On” win for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Baduizm win for Best R&B Album.

Source: Michael Kovac/Getty Images Entertainment / Getty

This song actually means so much to me on a personal level… I’ve had a very intense life, and music has always been able to ground me, and ease my anxiety. “On & On ” is definitely in my top ten “Calm down, Amanda ” songs, and it plays in my household on a regular basis. I just spark up a joint, and let Erykah’s hypnotic tones combine with the herb smoke, bringing on almost instant relaxation. 

Since this first albums success, Erykah Badu has had multiple other hits, including “Tyrone” (another personal favorite), “Bag Lady”, and “Love of my Life (an Ode to Hip Hop)”, just to name a few. Dubbed by many as “The Godmother of Soul”, she has been etched into history as one of the most soulful singers to ever grace our planet, and not just for her voice… But for the beautiful energy she brings to everything she does. 

That Badu

Erykah Badu launched her Cannabis line, “That Badu”, in partnership with Cookies in March of 2023. She has been an advocate for plant medicine, Cannabis in particular, for many years. Especially when it comes to women and mothers. In an article released by Forbes in March of 2023, Badu said: 

“Women are under-represented in weed, definitely… Cannabinoids for women is a very important issue for me. As a doula, I am very, very close to the use of cannabinoids in creams, oil, drops, sprays, flower, tinctures, teas, and edibles. Anything to relax the central nervous system. Women have particular biology that cycles and there are certain periods in the cycle when we need cannabis. Research will further this conversation and help change the narrative a bit when it comes to the taboos around women and cannabis.”

And I thought I loved her before…

Cannabis is an essential therapeutic in my life. I got my first stress ulcer in the 4th grade, and once I reached my teenage years, that cycle mentioned by Erykah to Forbes wreaks havoc on my body. Without Cannabis, I would be sick all day, every day, and straight up incapacitated during my time of the month. Cannabis literally saves my life every day… It helps me function like a normal human being should. I love hearing that Doulas/Healers like Ms. Badu are utilizing this amazing plant when aiding women in need.

And it makes women like me want to smoke some of That Badu!! You can find The Badu in Cookies stores across the state of California. I usually steer clear of Celebrity Cannabis brands if I’m being honest… I feel like most of them are just white-labeled BS with no real substance behind it… But That Badu is an exception. You can truly taste and feel the quality, love, and care that Erykah, Berner, and their teams have put into these amazing Badu buds. They are beautifully green, dense, shimmering little pieces of heaven. With hints of citrus and pine, these delicious buds are something everyone, man or woman, will definitely enjoy.

Smoking That Badu feels a lot like listening to her music: Relaxing and uplifting, smooth and smoky… A uniquely enchanting experience.

Womens Canna Awards

The night was filled with palpable energy. There were so many incredible women in attendance, and the phenomenal aura that seems to continuously surround Ms. Badu only made the evening that much more special. She stood proudly on the Women’s Canna Awards and said: “Sisters, how ya’ll feel?” (I almost melted…. You can watch the live-stream of the Awards here. Shout out to Jason and High at 9 News!)

To which a woman in the audience yelled “EMPOWERED!”

Erykah responded: “Yes… Empowered! I am so very happy to be here, I am so very happy to join the ranks of Women Growers… Agitators… Disturbers…” She said with an almost Eartha Kitt  like purr, “And like the Sister said earlier, we make it better, women made it better. We gave the Earth room to breathe and say what she needs to say. And we put that into the Earth because it’s coming from our hands, and it’s coming from our wombs. 

We heal, we are healers. We use this herb in the most important ceremonies of our lives. Childbirth. Sitting by the bedsides of people who are passing on to the other side as Doulas… It’s a miracle. It’s a medicine. It’s our things. And I am so very honored to be able to take care of those things with you. It means the world to me to be here, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I didn’t even know this type of sh*t existed.” Referring to the Women’s Canna Awards with a huge smile and a mischievous giggle. 

Erykah giggling after saying “I didn’t even know this type of sh*t existed”

Erykah came that evening to present the Lifetime Achievement Awards, which went to “Mama Sue”, Sue Taylor. The Cannabis Industries honorary Mama is a plant medicine advocate, business owner, pioneer, and all around badass woman. Mama Sue makes it her mission to end the stigma around Cannabis use for everyone, especially Seniors. To introduce Mama Sue, Erykah stated:

“I’m actually here tonight to honor a very, very important being. I don’t see her as a woman, or as black, or as white, or as anything… I see her as an energy, as a spirit. We spoke earlier and right now she is in her Queen Age Era. She’s done so much for the Cannabis industry, especially amongst African American women… Thank you so much, Sis.” 

Ms. Badu pulled out a piece of paper and said “I’m gonna read from my little notes for a minute… You know they was smoking weed in the back??” The American Weed Co had greeted Erykah with a private smoking section and a platter of hand rolled joints, which we all smoked a few of before she got on stage. Yes, you read that right… I SMOKED JOINTS WITH ERYKAH BADU…. No big deal… (…HUGE DEAL…)

Erykah read: “This very special, beautiful woman, who is sitting right in front of me right now, Mama Sue…” Which was met with a roar of excited celebration from the audience. “Mama Sue Taylor is a trailblazing Cannabis advocate and entrepreneur. She was the first Black Woman to own a dispensary in Berkeley with Farmacy Berkeley. She founded Mama Sue Wellness, a Cannabis brand developed with Seniors in mind, and has partnered with Glass House Brands to continue her mission of Cannabis advocacy and education…

Mama Sue has been featured in documentaries like “Lady Buds”… Y’all familiar?? And on CNN’s “The Whole Story” with our guy, Anderson Cooper, AND interviews athletes and celebrities about cannabis on her podcast “Plants over Pills”. We just talked about that in the back earlier, and I’m gonna leave it to Mama Sue to talk about it, but I want you all to put your voices in the air for my sister, OUR sister… We honor you, we appreciate you… For your hands. Thank you Mama Sue Taylor.”

As the Red Carpet Coordinator for this event, I was blessed to be in charge of making sure Erykah and her team were happy. Which also meant I got to spend quality time with her. I cannot even begin to describe how it felt just to be in her presence. Again, I have been listening to her and singing her songs since I was around 10 years old… And to be honest, I haven’t been around many famous people, especially ones in the celestial realm of Erykah Badu. I was so nervous… Would she even talk to me? Would she be a rich, stuck up person?

LET ME TELL YOU…. Erykah Badu was instantly warm and welcoming. She got out of her SUV, and greeted me with a smile, a hello, and a simply magical hug. She HUGGED me, y’all…! I walked her to her red carpet interview, stood by her friend Cold Chris and her Stylist Michael, while we watched my dear friend Ife’ Moore with Everything Cannabis interview her. When the interview ended, I walked her to her private smoking area. There, we sat and smoked joints while she waited to go on stage. 

It was like sitting with an old friend… Comfortable and unassuming. Relaxing and familiar. I got to sit 2 feet away from this enchanting woman, smoke some delicious herb, and talk with her about how terpenes and cannabinoids work together in our endocannabinoid system. We touched on how advantageous its use is for women, and how I wouldn’t be able to function without my sweet Mary Jane. 

Sitting, smoking, and laughing with a woman I admire so much was mind-blowingly awesome. She even nonchalantly sang a verse from “On & On” while scrolling on her phone and listening to me ramble on about how cold it is in the Bay Area… “Does it seem colder in your summer time and hotter in your fall…” It was a moment in time that will play over in my head for many, many years to come. I will treasure those moments for the rest of my life… 

I feel truly blessed to have been able to have had such a breathtakingly marvelous experience with one of the greatest singers, songwriters, and all around extraordinary artists of all time: Ms. Erykah Badu.