HumYum Cannabis Caramels

When Elkiya Mendes’s aunt called her to request a batch of caramels, the Humboldt County pastry chef gave it her best effort. At the time, she considered herself more of a chocolate person, but Mendes was surprisingly taken with the rich, yet elegant, sea salt caramels she perfected. The gluten-free caramels also suited Mendes’s personal food philosophy; she discovered she had a gluten allergy nearly ten years ago while working the night shift at a bakery in college. So, she adjusted her perspective in order to follow her dreams.


Mendes attended Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, earning a degree in pastry arts in 2010. She still holds tight to her admiration for classical French style, and today  creates desserts that are naturally gluten-free using the best-quality, organic ingredients.


Last July, she officially opened her artisan caramel business, HumYum, in Humboldt County, the heart of the Emerald Triangle. Of course, it was only natural for Mendes to offer a line of caramels infused with low doses of medicinal cannabis.  


“I wanted to put something out there that was actually quality,” says Mendes. “I didn’t see anything at the dispensaries that was good for your body, or gluten-free.” When she started HumYum, Mendes knew there had to be a more sophisticated edible market.


All HumYum caramels incorporate a classic sea salt flavor, allowing the caramels’ complex and rich flavors to linger long after they’ve disappeared. The cannabis line comes in three different doses: 1.5 mg THC, 3 mg THC and a 24:1 CBD/THC, per caramel — all of which are prominently labeled on each package. The taste of cannabis is undetectable, regardless of the dosage.


Mendes says that she keeps THC levels appreciably modest because “I don’t want my products to make anybody feel bad.” In fact, she wants HumYums to be a safe starting point for wider audiences who might benefit from medicinal cannabis.


The caramels live up to their “medicinal” reputation by softening the hard edges of anxiety and promoting a restful night’s sleep without an intense high. Even HumYum’s 3 mg THC caramels offer a significantly lower dose than most edibles available in California dispensaries.


Mendes creates her caramels using CO2 oil rendered from organically farmed, sun-grown cannabis grown in Humboldt County. Currently, only one Bay Area dispensary, 7 Stars in El Cerrito, California, carries HumYum’s edible caramels, but Mendes expects to grow the cannabis line in 2018.


Elkiya Mendes believes that nothing is more important than what we put in our bodies. An inquisitive foodie and talented pastry chef, she is thrilled to be following her dream of owning and operating her own gluten-free confectionery. Offering her medicinal caramels, which represent the best of Humboldt County’s bounty, is icing on the cake.


For more information on sourcing HumYum’s cannabis caramels, email

Emerald contributor since January 1970


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