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Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg have just wrapped the second season of their VH1 cooking show Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, and they have, in many ways, learned to step into each other’s worlds. But that doesn’t mean the lifestyle and homemaking guru will be spotted smoking any of her co-host’s favorite herb anytime soon.
“I made a pact early on doing this show that I would never enter Snoop’s domain, his trailer,” Stewart tells THR. “I’ve never gone as far as the first steps into his trailer. All the guests go into his trailer, by the way. But not Martha.” Even so, the 76-year-old admits, “I get kind of high from secondary smoke. I’m not a smoker myself, but the smoke is quite thick around the set.”
She may not be rolling spliffs, but Stewart insists she’s “never been a prude” about the habits of her 46-year-old co-star. “So someone smokes marijuana? Big deal! People smoke cigarettes and die from cancer. I haven’t heard of anybody dying from cannabis. I’m quite egalitarian and liberal when it comes to stuff like that.”
The odd coupling of Stewart and Snoop began in 2008 when the “Gin and Juice” gangsta rapper appeared on her syndicated talk show, Martha, for a cooking segment about mashed potatoes. The hip-hop trailblazer returned the next year to bake brownies for the holidays, a segment in which Snoop didn’t miss a beat when Stewart directed him to set the oven to 350 degrees. “Why not bake them at 420 degrees?” he asked.
As her live studio audience laughed, Stewart explained, “Because they’ll get overdone. Baking is an exact science.” It’s unclear if she was in on the joke, but it didn’t matter. Their chemistry made for good TV.
Six years later, in 2015, shortly after the two appeared together on Comedy Central’s Justin Bieber roast, Jersey Shore creator SallyAnn Salsano approached them about co-hosting a weekly 30-minute cooking show for VH1. They hit the ground running: With Snoop on tour, they had only five days to shoot the 10-episode first season at the CBS Studio Center in Studio City. Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party debuted in the fall of 2016 with guests including Seth Rogen, Ice Cube and Wiz Khalifa.
“I like learning a whole new genre of individuals and a whole new genre of cooking,” Stewart says. “I haven’t cooked some of the things that Snoop wants to cook, and he certainly hasn’t cooked many of the things that I cook.”
For their first season, Snoop and Stewart earned a 2017 Emmy nomination for best host for a reality or reality-competition program but lost to fellow VH1 host RuPaul for his work on RuPaul’s Drag Race. The second season, which debuted in October and featured such guests as Jamie Foxx, Usher and Sharon Osbourne, could once again put the pair in the Emmy host race.
Plus, they’ve already wrapped the rest of the second season with special guests including RuPaul, Terrence Howard, Don Cheadle and Wanda Sykes, says Stewart. “We also have Lil Yachty,” she adds. “Do you know who Lil Yachty is? He’s 20 years old and he has orange hair and these grills — diamond grills all over his teeth. And he only eats pizza and candy. He will not eat anything else. Can you believe it? We had to make him pizza. Just cheese and tomato pizza. Period.”
The episode also includes Stewart trying on some grills. “They made me a pair,” she says. “They’re so uncomfortable.”
When it comes to what’s next, Stewart and Snoop are working on a cookbook and “throwing around a lot of ideas” for more projects together: “We have other producers coming in to visit us, so you never know what’s going to happen.”
Stewart is even thinking about jumping into the ever-expanding cannabis market. In the U.S. alone, today’s $8.3 billion cannabis industry is expected to grow to $25 billion by 2025, according to a report released by New Frontier Data in April. Stars already in the cannabis business include Whoopi Goldberg, Melissa Etheridge and, of course, Snoop.
“As it becomes recreationally approved — there’s a big vote coming up in Canada — I think I probably would be more interested in it,” says Stewart. “I’ve been asked to design recipes and even ointments, healthy ointments for humans as well as for animals like cats and dogs. I’ve had two companies recently in my office bringing in very interesting ointments, rubs and massage creams. I totally believe in that as a supplement to everyday good living.” In fact, she recently experienced the healing properties of cannabis compliments of — you guessed it — Snoop.
He was having lunch with Stewart, her daughter, Alexis, and a group of her friends at her estate in Bedford, New York, in early May when a large rock fell on Stewart’s toe. “I thought it was broken,” she says, adding that the rapper immediately ran out to his car and brought her a CBD-infused ointment (CBD is a non-psychoactive compound derived from hemp). “I must tell you, my toe got better within two days. The nail never even turned black or fell off. I think it all had to do with this fantastic ointment that he gave me.”
While Dinner Party may look like all fun and games (and ganja), Stewart believes the success of the show goes beyond ratings, with the unlikely pair providing an antidote to the country’s divisive racial politics.
“The melding of cultures is really what I want to see happen in the United States and so does Snoop,” says Stewart. “There shouldn’t be any divides. There shouldn’t be any question that we can all get together and get along. There shouldn’t be any discrimination. There shouldn’t be any crap that the government is [doing]. It makes me sick.” (Stewart’s comments to THR came three days before President Trump announced that he was considering pardoning Stewart, who served five months in prison after she was convicted in 2004 of obstructing justice and lying to the government about her decision to unload stock just before the price took a nosedive. Trump told reporters on Air Force One on May 31 that Stewart “used to be one of my biggest fans.”)
With all Stewart’s talk of equality and racial harmony, could the domestic doyenne be laying the groundwork for her own run for office? “I wish,” she says. “But I’m so busy that it’s pretty hard for me to think of even doing that.” She adds with a laugh: “Maybe someday I’ll be the mayor of my town. I would be a benevolent dictator.”
Her base has certainly grown. “The show has expanded my demographic exponentially. When I walk down the street now, every truck driver knows who I am,” says Stewart. “If I go through Harlem, every single guy on the street corner knows who I am.
“When you’re in the public eye, as I am, you want people to know who you are,” she adds. “And they respect me. They love what I know and they’ve asked questions and they know that I’m an expert in a certain area. It’s very nice.”
SNOOP DOGG’S NO-GO FOODS
“He has very defined tastes,” Stewart says of her co-star. “He’s turned off by a lot of things”
The “Drop It Like It’s Hot” singer won’t be spotted at a hipster oyster bar anytime soon. “He won’t eat oysters because they’re too slimy,” says Stewart.
He would never cook lobster or crab. “He doesn’t want to see or touch the actual crustacean,” says Stewart. “He likes lobster Newburg because it’s out of the shell.”
It takes an adventurous eater to be game to try cow tongue. And Snoop did sample Stewart’s cow tongue tacos, “but he absolutely did not like tongue.”
This story first appeared in a June stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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