Born and raised in South Central L.A., Edgar “Ezone” Ayala has been building his High and Hungry brand for years after first making his start as an intern for BReal TV.
Ezone regularly appears on the Dr. Greenthumb daily Podcast, and now he has his own weekly weed-focused podcast called We Don’t Smoke the Same. His video series for BRreal TV, High and Hungry, focuses on food reviews, and his web store offers curated, limited-edition merch that Ezone co-creates with artists.
Visit Hollyweed chopped it up with Ezone, talking about getting high and hungry at Christmas, what to give a stoner as a holiday gift, and who in the family he was most afraid to tell he smoked weed.
Would you recommend weed at Christmas time?
Yes, I would.
If you’re one of those people that gets down at the holidays, you might want to increase the amount of weed you intake. It’s probably the best way to deal with any kind of sadness or anything that might be bothering you.
And then of course if you’re already having a good time, how much better is it for one to enhance the experience if you can?
Do you remember the first time you were stoned at Christmas?
I was 17 and I ate brownies.
I’m Latino, so Christmas is always celebrated around family. It was a big step for me to fuck around and be like ok, I’m going to get one on. I ate a couple brownies, obviously unregulated at the time, and I ended up falling asleep early.
When’d you first smoke it?
At the time I was first starting to get into it was with a cousin. And older cousin from my mom’s side. He was the first person I actually smoked with. I had ordered this little ceramic pipe from some European website in Amsterdam or some shit, I wanted to be all official and shit. I took it to his house. I thought I had some weed, man, he was like we not smokin that shit. The first time I actually got to smoke-smoke, it was smoking OG because that’s all he would smoke. I got introduced to it very well, introduced proper. So I didn’t go through the whole stress phase.
Did you and he smoke at the holidays?
We’d take a walk. Or we’d go hide the ice or hide the beer so we’d have an excuse to leave.
Is it accepted in your family now?
Here’s the thing, as cannabis got more progressive around California and it got accepted, everybody who was a closet smoker in the family started coming out. That was something crazy to see.
So now it’s like the circle’s definitely gotten a lot bigger. My older brother partakes, and uncle or two might come by and say hey let me hit that vape pen.
Not much with the younger generation, but my older cousins are all into it now. They’d been doing it for years and they’re like “we didn’t think that the youngest one in the crowd would be the one that had the best shit!”
So everyone’s down?
The older generation won’t partake and you can’t really break that. My grandma, my mom, my aunts, you can’t really do that. But a lot of the peers, the males and females around my age or ten years older, they’re for sure going to be smoking because we’re gonna be stuck hanging out together for quite a while.
Who were you afraid to tell?
At first, it was my grandma. She quit smoking cigarettes when I was born. It was going to be hard for me to explain because smoke is smoke in her mind. So I was scared to really tell her because of the amount of love and respect I have for her. At first she was kind of upset because she thought it was cigarettes but when she found out it was weed it really didn’t seem to bother her as much for some reason.
What to get a stoner for Christmas?
There’s the obvious, who doesn’t like weed? But you gotta know the person’s tastes.
Are you giving weed for Christmas this year?
Yeah in fact I did this thing with my fans where I organized a little group chat for a gift exchange. They filled out a form.
I bought a gift for every single one of those people based on the information they gave me, and they went around and got something for me.
It was cool, it was like you get a little something, some little Christmas trees in there, but you also get more of a personal gift that lets them know that I’ve gotten to know you over time.
The weed is already included, not that they expect it but it’s like, hey, I gotta show off for these guys.
What weed should I give?
My personal recommendation, I would go with the Insane brand because that’s what I’ve gotten to know with so many years of experience with Dr. Greenthumb’s.
Just don’t give something that’s like, oh this was on sale, it’s still weed.
Definitely don’t give anyone weed you wouldn’t smoke yourself. No boof.
It’s better to give something that’s super premium even though it’s not a lot as compared to getting this half zip because it’s on sale and you’re like all man, this tastes like cardboard.
OK so what Insane strains should I gift?
One of my favorites, it’s in season right now, Insane Christmas Lights, that’s a very good lavendar, a very good hybrid Indica-dominant. I would say Insane OG if you can get that. That’s obviously If you want it strong and you want it to put you on your ass that’s the one to go with. Of the newest ones, I would say Insane Kush Mints. I’ve tried a majority of them but these are my current picks of the moment.
You’re into collectibles like Pokémon, right?
Yeah, recently there’s been a big rise in the Pokémon world and I got back into it, I got big into it.
I’ve been opening cards for almost a year and doing unboxing videos. I’ve been opening them up live and people have seen me get some pretty gnarly cards, people have seen me get nothing.
They get see me and see how excited I get and so that resonates with a lot of people.
We did the gift exchange and people had sent me so many fucking Pokémon cards man I have like a whole Target section at my place because of them.
It’s crazy it’s like, man, they’ve gotten to know that side of me
What would be your ultimate Pokémon Christmas gift?
It’s really hard to get, it’s a Gameboy Color edition. It was a Gameboy that was a Pokemonedition. It was the first time they did a Pokemon edition for the game. It’s very rare, it’s very sought after. That would be crazy.
When your High and Hungry at the holidays, what are you favorite foods?
Being Latino, I’m kind of odd because I don’t really fuck with tamales heavy. Everyone’s like it’s the holidays you gotta have the tamales. I’m Salvadorian, I don’t specifically like those because of the consistency. I prefer the Mexican ones. Mexican tamales would be one of my things.
I look more forward to the sweets, bro, like that peppermint bark, the hot chocolate. The cookies. Those little popcorn trays with three different flavors of popcorn. The ponche they make.
Ponche is like a hot fruit punch with alcohol in it. A lot of Latinos have that. I’m specifically Salvadorian, so it’s very big for us.
It’s very hard for me to find these but when I can I’ll fucking buy the actual gingerbread cookies, you know, with the nice ingredients.
What are you getting BReal for Christmas?
It’s probably gonna be some dope memorabilia or some man shit, you know what I mean. Maybe like a tight ass pimp cup or something like that. Something you could drink craft beer out of.
Are you going to smoke more or less weed in 2022?
It’s probably going to be the same, if not more. I’d like to say less but with the current turmoil of the world it’s kind of stressful. And I ain’t about to start drinking more.
What are your New Year’s resolutions?
One of the goals is to be a lot more persistent with career moves.
Make sure High and Hungry hits different levels. I want to emphasize that and definitely hit record sales on my website of my merch.
And trying to consistently do my standup.
I want to keep curating my events every month, like our live High and Hungry podcast that we’ve been doing around the state.
I’m busy on some collabs with Craft Beer Kings for 2022. Lot of beers to be released, a lot of merch.