When VH1 announced that Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart were teaming up for a cooking show, it sounded like something that had been dreamed up after a few too many hits of the former's cannabis products. After all what commonalities could possibly exist between the 47-year-old California-bred rapper, as well known for his rhythms as his unabashed love of weed and the Westchester-based domestic doyenne thirty years his elder?
Turns out, quite a bit as the unlikely pair premiere the third season of their Emmy-nominated show tonight—a consistent perfect rating on Rotten Tomatoes—albeit in a slightly different conceit that has celebrities battling it out in the kitchen. (For the kickoff this evening at 10 p.m., Matthew McConaughey and Method Man face off to see who can craft the better 4/20-related munchies and Isla Fisher steps in as guest judge.)
"I like his laid-back energy. I like his outspokenness. I like his sense of timing," Stewart raved of her costar during a Today appearance yesterday to promote Martha & Snoop's Potluck Party Challenge. "And I really, I actually like to watch him cook. I mean he's so particularly, his little tiny bits of this and that, and it all finally comes together."
As for the West Coast musician, he appreciates the culinary goddess' willingness to share her skills, likening her to "the big sister I never had, being able to correct me, to teach me, to show me how to be better, to give me something to aspire to be. Like, we need that in life and this is what I didn't have."
Now that the 77-year-old has been ushered in, he can't actually imagine existing without her. "I love Martha, like, I love her for real," he said, "like, when I see her away from me, I get jealous when I see other people with her. But then I have to understand, she's Martha Stewart, so she has to give the world what they want."
And their unexpected friendship is everything we didn't realize we desperately wanted. While the show itself was the brainchild of VH1 producers ("I originally said if Snoop will do it, I'll do it," shared Stewart of the initial approach back in 2015) the seemingly dissonant stars' relationship was 100 percent organic.
It was more than 10 years ago that the lifestyle whiz with a penchant for rap (Eminem and Lil Jon are among her favorites) extended an invitation for the "Gin and Juice" artist to appear on her syndicated talk show, Martha, and help cook mashed potatoes for a 2009 segment.
"Martha kind of pioneered this as far as like letting rappers become a part of daytime television because we were not actually accepted," Snoop noted on Today of Stewart's willingness to step into her kitchen with the likes of Q Tip, Ludacris and LL Cool J. "We fit right in. Cooking with Martha just seemed like the right space to be in."
So the hip-hop star gladly returned the following year to join Stewart in baking green-hued holiday brownies and deliver more than a few pot puns, joking when she instructed him to set the oven to 350, "Why not bake them at 420 degrees?"
Either willingly playing the straight woman, or simply allowing the crack to sail over her heads, she responded, "Because they'll get overdone. Baking is an exact science."
It was an effortless back-and-forth that suggested the two just might have the perfect recipe for TV gold (or, as Snoop would later put it to Today, "They love me with Martha onscreen so much, they can't get enough of it,") but it would take another chance encounter to truly bring the pair together.
A year after Stewart admitted in a 2014 Reddit AMA session, "I wish I were closer friends with Snoop Dogg," inviting the rapper over to her 153-acre farm to bake another batch of brownies, they were sat beside each other at the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber. For Stewart, that meant four hours of breathing in the pot connoisseur's secondhand smoke.
"Snoop had all those, you don't call them joints, you call them something else. Big fat ones," she said weeks later during a stop on Late Night with Seth Meyers. "So I was totally high."
An unintended consequence to be sure, but one Snoop says made the show.
"Her seat is right here, and mine is right here," Snoop would share with Howard Stern last year. "The whole roast, I'm just smokin' dope. It's just secondhand smoke, secondhand smoke. By the time she get up there to tell her jokes—she's whacked out of her head, but she steals the f--king show. She's the funniest motherf--ker there."
Continued the musician, "She was loose as a goose, high as a motherf--ker, and she went up there and killed it...She came back and sat next to me, and I said, 'Martha, you see what I did for you? We need to do more things together.'"
It was a thought that also occurred to producer SallyAnn Salsano. On the hunt for a unique half-hour cooking show heavy on the pop culture, the architect behind Jersey Shore, approached the duo's agents, certain she'd landed on a winner.
"Martha and Snoop genuinely know each other," she explained to Adweek. "It wasn't like one of those crazy Hollywood random pairings where they just throw people together. They were each looking out for the other side, like a unified front."
The pitch was for a series that included "lots of funny talk, silly games, and actual recipes," Stewart would later describe to Architectural Digest, a format that saw the twosome whipping up their own versions of a dish with help from celeb pals in between swilling cocktails ("I feed them to Snoop, who's not really a drinker, so he gets totally drunk off of them," she told Town & Country) and game play.
With both halves of the duo signed on, they quickly got to work in 2016, tapping guests such as Seth Rogen, Ice Cube, Ashley Graham and Wiz Khalifia to join them for five days of shooting in L.A. before Snoop resumed his High Road Tour.
Despite the scramble, Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party was a resounding success when it debuted that fall to 2.3 million viewers (the top premiere for a new cable unscripted franchise that year), earning an Emmy nod for best host for a reality or reality-competition program. (The pair lost to RuPaul.)
"I've never met anyone like Martha Stewart," Snoop told Rolling Stone of the bond they'd formed across years of joint appearances. "When we come together, it's a natural combination of love, peace and harmony."
Not to mention an interesting study in contrasts. While Stewart introduced Snoop to eclectic dishes such as cow tongue tacos and how to use a pizza oven to make a pie from scratch, he demonstrated the art of employing barbecue chips as breading for fried chicken wings.
"I like learning a whole new genre of individuals and a whole new genre of cooking," Stewart explained to The Hollywood Reporter last year of the show's draw. "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."
Despite their many differences, it wasn't all that hard for the two to find common ground, each citing a mutual love of food, music and trying new things. "She different, ya know, than what I'm accustomed up. But then again she's so what I'm accustomed to," the 17-time Grammy winner told LA Weekly of the ease of their relationship. "'Cause she people. She just look different and she was born in a different era, but if you hang out with her and chill with her, she just like anybody else. That's why it works, because she never says nothing that's crazy in my ears. It's always like, 'Damn, I thought you would say that. OK.' That's why we get down, that's why we connected, Martha. 'Cause it feels like holy matrimony, and not holy macaroni."
After all, this is a woman who's admitted to sexting and paying a visit to a nude beach, someone who's made as much effort to fit into Snoop's world as he has into hers, adding bling to her decidedly minimalist wardrobe and words like "fo shizzle" and "crack-a-lackin" to her vocabulary.
"They have the same interests," said Salsano, "and they like each other."
The pair do employ some boundaries. As Snoop put it to Us Weekly of season one, "We only smoked the meat!", noting he reserved his "pleasures" for his trailer: "On the set, I'm a businessman."
And though Stewart has admitted to taste testing some edibles, she makes it a point to steer clear of Snoop's trailer for fear of another hot box scenario. "I made a pact early on doing this show that I would never enter Snoop's domain, his trailer," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "I've never gone as far as the first steps into his trailer."
Not that she judges his particular predilections. "So someone smokes marijuana? Big deal! People smoke cigarettes and die from cancer. I haven't heard of anybody dying from cannabis," she noted to the outlet. "I'm quite egalitarian and liberal when it comes to stuff like that."
So much so that she's considered getting into the business herself, taking note of the success the From Crook to Cook author has had from his line of products.
During a May 2018 lunch with Snoop and her daughter Alexis Stewart at her estate in Bedford, N.Y., "a rock fell on my toe from five feet high," she shared with E! News. Certain it was broken, she nonetheless obliged when Snoop offered up the use of his CBD-infused ointment and was amazed when it healed up instantly: "It got better overnight, so that's a good recommendation."
As recreational marijuana use grows increasingly mainstream, she says she's been inundated with requests to craft her own recipes and she's certainly thought about turning to her kitchen partner for guidance. "I might do it," she told E! News. "I don't partake, but I would probably be interested to know about it." She has since accepted an advisory role with a Canadian cannabis company.
Thanks to Snoop, she's found legitimacy in circles that may have previously assumed they shared little in common with the exceptionally preppy lifestyle guru, though, as she noted while appearing on CBS' Sunday Morning, her five-month stint in prison for obstructing justice, "gave me the street cred I was lacking."
Sharing co-hosting duties with the hip-hop impresario "has expanded my demographic exponentially," she told The Hollywood Reporter. When I walk down the street now, every truck driver knows who I am. If I go through Harlem, every single guy on the street corner knows who I am."
And, frankly, this bringing together of seemingly disparate groups of people was one of the benefits of this whole venture in the first place.
Sure, it's fun to watch Snoop get drunk on Stewart's favorite Caipirinhas or Wiz Khalifa turn up to the show's premiere with an oversized bag of weed, but there's a deeper message at play here. In a time when Twitter is bringing out the worst in us and political differences are widening the natural chasms that exist between various communities, two stars from different coasts and altogether different worlds are able to come together and show that even the most implausible of pairings can create something truly magical.
"The melding of cultures is really what I want to see happen in the United States and so does Snoop," Stewart explained to The Hollywood Reporter ahead of their second season. "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."
Or, as Snoop put it on Today yesterday morning, "This shows you that people can get along, people can work together, people can love each other no matter where they come from, how they were brought up."