Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco” as Want to Read:
Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco

by
4.33  ·  Rating details ·  486 ratings  ·  104 reviews
A blazingly funny, heartfelt memoir from the daughter of the larger-than-life woman who ran Sticky Fingers Brownies, an underground bakery that distributed thousands of marijuana brownies per month and helped provide medical marijuana to AIDS patients in San Francisco—for fans of Armistead Maupin and Patricia Lockwood

During the '70s in San Francisco, Alia's mother ran the
...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 20th 2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Home Baked, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell No, they're different people. The book actually talks about that-- how they were often mistaken for one another unless people actually knew what they …moreNo, they're different people. The book actually talks about that-- how they were often mistaken for one another unless people actually knew what they looked like.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  486 ratings  ·  104 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest


I have a lot of mixed thoughts about this memoir and I think a lot of others will, too. I live in San Francisco so you can probably guess what a lot of my thoughts are on the subjects discussed in this book are without my going into detail, but I am going to talk about why I don't think HOME BAKED will work for everyone, even though it did for me.



HOME BAKED is the journalistic style memoir of the author's mother, who made illegal edibles
...more
Erin Khar
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This book exceeded my expectations, which were already high because I am a fan of Alia's writing. Alia does an exceptional job of balancing memoir with a well-researched narrative history of San Francisco, marijuana legislation, and the ways in which they intersected with LGBTQ rights and the AIDS crisis. I feel like I know all of the well-drawn "characters" in the book. It was a fast, entertaining read, a love letter to a time and place and the people who inhabited them. Highly recommend f ...more
Haley
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Home Baked is so much more than a memoir. I picked it up to escape into the iconic setting of 1970s San Francisco, not expecting to learn so much about the history at the time or to have my view on marijuana completely altered.

Home Baked tells the story of the underground, and extremely illegal at the time, first known pot brownie business, Sticky Fingers. The author’s mother, Meridy known to many simply as “The Brownie Lady,” and her friends expanded the operation through the swinging ‘70s and
...more
Charlotte Grisafi
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book started as an adventure that I willingly went on and ended up a lesson in history. Mer moves to San Francisco in the 70,s and inherits an illegal pot brownie business named Sticky Fingers brownies, problem is Mer hates to bake, enter Barb, who introduces her to Doug who gives her a psychic reading, both into oracles and the occult , he marries Mer and joins the family business which distributed 10,000 brownies a month with daughter Alia tucked into her stroller along with a baby bag an ...more
Joy
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you wouldn't say no to a brownie you shouldn't say no to Home Baked.

More than a memoir, Home Baked, is a time capsule, a love letter, a coming of age story and an epitaph. Not only does it investigate the edibles industry from it's infancy it reminds us that outlaws are sometimes heroes without capes. I will be recommending this book to every generation, from grandparents to the university bound, for it has universal appeal, yet I have no more time to devote to this review, because as soon as
...more
Kyra Johnson
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-copies
Sticky Fingers Brownies was an underground pot brownie business in San Francisco during the 1970s and 80s and one of the original canabusinesses. They produced thousands of baked goods each month for recreational and medicinal use. In HOME BAKED, Volz pens a heartwarming memoir of her life as the daughter of “The Brownie Lady” or Meridy—the powerhouse business woman behind Sticky Fingers Brownies.

Volz recounts how Sticky Fingers began and describes her unique childhood. Her family’s story inter
...more
Barb
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rating 4.5

I loved this story of a college graduate from Wisconsin who moves to Haight Ashbury in the 1970’s with her degree and a disregard for authority. Meridy finds herself struggling to make a living as an artist by training until she meets The Brownie Lady. One of Fisherman’s Wharf’s hippie characters, The Brownie Lady is just that; a woman who sells pot-laced brownies to the street vendors in the area. She aspires to move to Scotland to live on a commune and decides that Meridy is just the
...more
Scott James
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Alia Volz's parents were arguably some of the most successful illegal drug dealers in the history of America with their pot brownie empire. Their story documents the beginnings of the modern marijuana era, reveals the discovery of weed as a genuine medicine during a pandemic, and gives readers a front row seat to events in San Francisco that changed the world. But it's the characters who really grabbed me. Mom is a trip, but Dad is even farther out there. And grandma? Wow. And ...more
Juniper Nichols
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Is it possible to be nostalgic about someone else’s life? While I did meet the main “characters” during my childhood in Willits, in many ways the author and I grew up in separate worlds. Alia has a delectably vivid way with language, rich in sensory detail. It’s irresistible to describe her writing in the same terms that evoke the Sticky Fingers brownies. Her deceptively simple approach packs a wallop of an impact, sinfully satisfying with its descriptions of the hedonistic 70s SF lifestyles, wi ...more
Karyn
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a pleasure to read! Lively and descriptive, the author has clearly brought us into the colorful San Francisco of the later 1970s, 1980s and into 1990s. Sylvester and Harvey Milk are remembered fondly as well as a myriad of other characters making the scene and dazzling us with a view that can only be viewed now by history.

Alia Volz interweaves the progress of marijuana laws that shape many lives both as medicine and entertainment, and naturally the calcified criminal justice system that ha
...more
Cherri
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book must have come at just the right time. I have struggled to focus on reading during the pandemic, but I read this entire book in one sitting. It is a fascinating look at counterculture, the hippie movement, the AIDS epidemic, gay rights, well-everything wonderful and heartbreaking about San Francisco over several decades. I love the city and I loved this book!
Alvin
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story of growing up in a family of eccentric pot dealers is endearingly candid and beautifully written. It not only takes readers into the hidden hippie wilderness, but provides a well-researched history of pre-legalization cannabusiness (thankfully dispersed throughout the text in easily digestible nuggets). The book is also a love letter to pre-gentrified San Francisco, one that's all the more convincing because it doesn't edit out the downsides of too much fun and freedom. Keep a box of ...more
Kristina
Maybe memoirs are what I need for my *pandemic* reading, but this tale of how Sticky Fingers, an underground cannabis bakery came to be as told by the daughter (Alia Volz) of the founders was equal parts glory in the late 70s/80s San Francisco and a story of a girl realizing her parents, particularly Meridy, her mother, were always rebels.

The fears Volz contended with concerning when, not if, her family would get busted later segue into the realization her mother, in particular, was considered
...more
Pamela Skjolsvik
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful memoir that mixes the personal with the historical. Loved it!
Regina
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Home Baked is exceptional.

Every person you meet in this book is interesting and unique. The pacing and organization is excellent. The author includes just enough information about pretty much every person and topic she touches on to be engaging and insightful without being too much or distracting.

Although it's technically a memoir, it goes so far beyond that. Volz expertly weaves in facts and anecdotes throughout the book about a wide range of related topics, including drug laws/incarceration,
...more
Karenita
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure if this would be called a biography or a memoir. It is a daughter's perspective, raised by unconventional, artistic, drug using parents in 1960's -1990's San Francisco. Most of these years the author's Mom baked and sold Marijuana Brownies, to the tune of around 10,000 a month. Stickie Finger Brownies, in personally designed artsy baggies were smuggled in the stroller or mailbags. What police officer would ever think Mom was a drug dealer?

The numerous relationships and colorful, ma
...more
Alison McGhee
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Home Baked is a wild ride of a memoir. As an elementary schooler in 70's San Francisco, Alia knew she was forbidden ever to talk about her parents' work, which was making and selling edibles, specifically pot brownies, long before they were legal. While her outer life was circumspect, Alia's home life was vibrant and funny and honest, filled with the scent of pot and the adoration of her parents and their friends. This book made me laugh out loud. It also made my heart ache, especially when the ...more
Susan
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
If you read enough books about San Francisco in the 60s, 70s, etc, you start to see recurring characters. Of course, these aren't fictional people but instead larger than life real people. In Ms. Volz' book the reader meets (re-meets) several cultural and political icons of San Francisco and California. As the book progresses, the travels through the world of the hippies through the high life of homosexuality followed by AIDS and a great history of the legality of marijuana, all through the lens ...more
Trisha
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting memoir, written by the daughter of the woman who ran Sticky Fingers Brownies. It was an underground bakery that distributed pot brownies, out of her home in San Francisco. She recounts her unique childhood, growing up in the 70’s & 80’s - during such a pivotal time in San Francisco. It’s well researched and talks about not only marijuana legislation during that time, but also the politics and colorful culture in San Fran when the AIDS virus appears. Definitely enjoyed this and ...more
Lene
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it
The value of this book is its review of the history of gay rights, the AIDS crisis, the illegal/legalization of marijuana, and the sociopolitical influences underpinning each. Everyone should have to read those bits.
The dad is a narcissist. The mom is a flake. They're both awful. I don't care enough about the drug-soaked, hippie bullshit of baby boomers to be dazzled by the 'legend' the author is trying to make her mother out to be. Maybe you'll feel differently about them.
...more
Gregory Crouch
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Binged the last half of HOME BAKED last night. What an enthralling story! Instant classic. Congratulations to Alia Volz on creating such a unique, captivating, and beautifully written mashup of memoir, profile, and history.
Freesiab
Sep 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 48% this was the dullest book about selling pot brownies in San Francisco during the 60’s and 70’s. A lot of information was just basic history and then a lot of uncomfortable family history. I’m very disappointed and I feel bad I chose it for my book group.
A.H. Kim
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Haiku review:
Midwest girl goes rogue
Tales of the pre-tech city
Funny, touching, sad
Amy
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this one via Audible (narrated by the author too! She has a great voice for it.)
I learned a lot about the history of marijuana in San Francisco and its relationship to activism and social justice. It is becoming increasingly difficult to remember just how much risk people faced for growing and distributing just a couple decades ago.
What I didn't expect was how masterfully and movingly Volz captures the story of her parents. There's a real honesty, generosity and sometimes even h
...more
Trisha
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very interesting memoir, written by the daughter of the woman who ran Sticky Finger Brownies. It was an underground bakery- that distributed pot brownies, out of her home in San Francisco. She recounts her unique childhood, growing up in the 70’s & 80’s - during such a pivotal time in San Francisco. It’s well researched and talks about not only marijuana legislation during that time, but also the politics and colorful culture in San Fran when the AIDS virus appears. Definitely enjoyed this, an ...more
Jennifer Schultz
Read if you: Want a bizarre, hilarious, insightful, and moving memoir of a childhood shaped by 1970s-80s San Francisco.

Alia Volz had quite the unique childhood; raised by parents deeply in the "New Age" movement and running a marijuana brownie business made that quite clear. Volz balances her fascinating home life with the rise of the LGBTQ+ movement in San Francisco, as well as the devastation of AIDS in the Bay Area. The road to legalization and acceptance of medical marijuana was paved with t
...more
Kendra
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a moving book—a maverick mother, a story of subcultural resistance, lgbt history, and California history. The author's mom was a key player in the early days of the medical marijuana movement, delivering goods from the author's stroller. This is a story of a bygone '70s San Francisco, the AIDS epidemic, and one cool mom. It’s a moving family story with so many layers and an impressive amount of research—about how those with power manipulate meaning to keep that power, and how our government ...more
Jody Forrester
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent close-up experience of San Francisco from the sixties/seventies hippie/drug era through the eighties AIDS devastation. Peopled with characters living their best and worse lives during a multi-faceted cultural upheaval never seen before. Alia Volz is a gifted writer who takes good care of her readers. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about the city where sex/drugs/rock and roll first reigned.
Shanna
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
A worthwhile read but not a book I would re-read. The book does a good job capturing such a pivotal moment in San Francisco's history and recognizing all the different factors at play that made the city what it was and still impacts it today. ...more
Richard Depp
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it, great feel of San Francisco through time from late 60's to pre dotcom. Shifting culture of SF through Harvey Milk, AIDS epidemic, legalization of marijuana, through a personal eye. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Tracks
  • Force of Nature (Aaron Falk, #2)
  • Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha, #2)
  • The Missing Sister
  • Fix Her Up (Hot & Hammered, #1)
  • Running with Sherman
  • 44 Chapters About 4 Men
  • Unforgotten (The Fallen Guardians, #2)
  • Promised
  • Juste après la vague
  • The Snow Collectors
  • We Are Not Free
  • The Exhibition of Persephone Q
  • The Jetsetters
  • The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds
  • The Love Square
  • Grown Ups
  • The Exit Strategy
See similar books…

Related Articles

New year! New books! New this month: Scandal rocks an elite British boarding school in The Divines. A dark secret spans several...
90 likes · 37 comments