Melissa Pandika

Melissa Pandika is a San Francisco Bay Area-based journalist who has covered a broad range of topics, including health, food, race, identity, immigration and social justice. In her writing, she seeks to illuminate narratives about communities that often go untold. Her news and feature stories, as well as her personal essays, have appeared in Discover, VICE, the Los Angeles Times, Bon Appétit’s Healthyish, New York Magazine’s The Cut and SELF, among other outlets. Before making the leap to journalism, Melissa investigated how aggressive brain tumors evade drugs that block the growth of their blood vessels as a research associate at the University of California, San Francisco. She holds a B.A. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in communications from the Stanford Graduate School of Journalism, where she won the Nicholas Roosevelt Environmental Journalism Award. She is at work on a memoir.


The expert’s guide to sleeping on a plane


How to grow weed at home


Slacker’s Syllabus: Delta-8-THC


Slacker’s Syllabus: A newbie’s guide to filing your taxes

Mental health

Could a VR “trip” offer a sober shortcut to the healing potential of psychedelics?

Get Lifted

How to sell legal weed with a conscience


Slacker’s Syllabus: Retirement planning for millennials and Gen Z


Abortion rights are under attack. Here are 7 local reproductive rights orgs you can support


These are the drugs that got us through 2021


Slacker’s Syllabus: Lab-created diamonds

Mental Health

Botox could help your anxiety, according to a new study


Google is under investigation for its treatment of Black women

Gift Guides

The best last-minute gifts for anyone and everyone

Gift Guides

11 camping gifts for people who can’t get enough of the outdoors

Gift Guides

10 gifts to make pandemic travel more bearable

The Pandemic

New findings about Omicron make it seem a little less horrifying

Gift Guides

7 gifts for the proud plant parent in your life


Watch Dr. Fauci clap back at a GOP senator's accusation that he “overhyped” AIDS and COVID


Everything you need to know about the case that could overturn Roe v. Wade

Get Your Money Right

The BIPOC influencers teaching their communities how to make money moves