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Munch Break: We Tried Koko Nuggz, the Deceptively Delicious Chocolate ‘Buds’

Welcome to Munch Break, a new column where Leafly staffers try different foods, snacks, and other culinary concoctions under an elevated state of mind. 

Food/Product: Koko Nuggz Chocolate Budz (Banana Kush, OG, and Kush Berry flavors)

High Experienced (1-10 scale): 6-8.5 over the course of an evening (courtesy of Brandywine by Doc and Yeti Urban Farms)

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As a pro-grade muncher and lover of cannabis, I find ways to intermittently pepper my munchies stash with new and exciting treats throughout the week. Most of these purchases are rewarding (at least to the pleasure centers of my brains) because they are LOADED with sufficient quantities of sugar to abate my ravenous sweet tooth. This week, to prepare for a few long nights of gaming and goodies, I ordered every flavor of Koko Nuggz available.*

*Editor’s note: When we tested out the Koko Nuggz, the brand had not yet added its new Cookies & Cream flavor, so our writeup is limited to the Banana OG, Kush Berry, and OG varieties. Insert sad trombone noise here.

What’d We Eat?

Koko Nuggz are a chocolate confection that look surprisingly similar to cannabis buds. This imagery is driven home by their nug-like shape and the addition of crunchy cereal-like bits that give the “nuggz” both texture and a lack of uniformity that plays to their appearance.

Koko Nuggz chocolate bud treats (non-infused)

These cannabis-like candies aren’t infused, making them a novel treat for consumers who are both for and against cannabis use (though I imagine it’s only a matter of time before Koko Nuggz takes a stab at true-to-life cannabis edibles). Personally, I could see people using these as a beginner’s nudge toward familiarizing non-cannabis consumers with cannabis while having a good, sweet laugh. But do Koko Nuggz transcend their novelty?

How’d They Taste?

Not only did I try the OG, Banana Kush, and Kush Berry flavors while stoned, I had some fellow coworkers chomp on some samples while sober to get their more grounded opinions.

KoKo Nuggz' Banana OG flavored chocolate buds

The OG Flavor

The OG flavor tasted almost exactly like a Crunch bar you can buy from a corner store. The nuggz are toothsome and crunchy, and taste like your run-of-the-mill milk chocolate. This wouldn’t be such a problem if the jars were reasonably priced, but I’ll talk more about that later.

Coworker feedback: “Biting skeptically into the KoKo Nugg, I was surprised at how crunchy and incredibly sweet it was. I couldn’t help thinking to myself, ‘I’d probably never purchase these myself, but I could totally see them being used as party favors!'”

The Banana Kush Flavor

While this was my favorite of the three flavors, the candy was missing any real (or fake) banana flavor. That’s not to say the white chocolate and crunchy crispies weren’t nice to chow on, especially after slurping on a vape pen, but I was expecting a bit more nuance on the palate. I would eat these by the handful or maybe even pour milk over them. Oh man! Or on ice cream? Forget about it!

Coworker feedback: “I wish the chunks were a little smaller and easier to break up (like real nugs), but that Banana OG was delicious like a Rice Krispies treat.”

The Kush Berry Flavor

This flavor has a sweet Kool-Aid aroma on the nose and a Fruity Pebbles x Crunch Berry hybrid taste. The buds were also adorned with light purple flecks that gave the “chocolate foliage” a wannabe-Purps appearance. I mean, yeah, sure, why not—they were tasty, but chocolate is tasty, duh.

Coworker feedback: “I think I’m in the minority but I liked the berry—it’s sweet without being cloying and has some character. It also hits that ‘berry’ flavor button without tasting too chemical or artificial (looking at you, Crunch Berries), which I’m a fan of.”

Good Bet or Munchie Regret?

At $20 for 2.25oz or $30 for 4.5oz, Koko Nuggz can be a hard sell for someone just looking for a sweet treat to munch on. These are novelty prices, and while that will fulfill curious consumers and pranksters with deep pockets, it may not cut it when juxtaposed against the amount of real cannabis that could be purchased for the same price. Even a cursory stoner cost-benefit analysis (in the Washington market) illustrates that a consumer could purchase two grams of exceptional cannabis and still have money leftover for a copious quantity of munchies (especially after adding the cost of shipping and handling.)

Jar of Koko Nuggz chocolate 'buds'

However, my Koko Nuggz experience admittedly satisfied my curiosity. If you’re looking for a whimsical snack to share with your friends for a solid chuckle while quelling your sweet tooth, order some Koko Nuggz and sample their wares before dropping a dub.

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Jeremiah Wilhelm

Jeremiah Wilhelm is a former strain researcher at Leafly.

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