There’s something different about Martha Stewart these days.
Yes, the 76-year-old lifestyle expert can still recite more than a dozen ways to use all the fallen apples from the orchard on her 150-acre Bedford, N.Y., estate. But she also endorses sexting (“Sexting can be extremely wholesome,” she told TMZ) and drinking from a blinged-out pimp cup with Snoop Dogg on their VH1 cooking and variety show, Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, currently in its second season.
“I’m the same person I always was,” Stewart, 76, insists to PEOPLE in this week’s issue. What has changed, she says, is the means in which her true personality can shine. “When I was starting with my television show, it was a teaching show. It was a straightforward ‘Martha wants to show you the exact, best way to do something,’” she says. “But now I’m okay if things get a little out of hand.”
The earnest homemaker turned hip grandma, who began her career as a caterer in 1976 and went on to publish her own magazine and star in her first show, Martha Stewart Living, in the 1990s, credits the rapper for bringing out this playful side.
“When you work with someone like Snoop, it’s like having a sidekick. How great it is,” she says. “That’s why all the comedians have sidekicks and bands because it loosens them up and lets them be freer. Snoop is my freedom.”
The unlikely duo are genuinely friends, too. “He’s a very nice person. He’s very funny, and he’s very silly,” says the author of her 89th cookbook, Slow Cooker. “And he’s half in and half out all the time so you never know which is the real Snoop, which is also kind of fun.”
WATCH: Martha Stewart & Snoop Dogg Talk Weirdest Cravings, Dinner Party Fails & What They’d Do if They Were Beyoncé for a Day!
Because they live on opposite coasts, the pair exchange emails when they’re not filming in Los Angeles in order to stay in touch. This distance has also kept their friend groups from meshing thus far—but Stewart is determined to change that.
For more on Stewart and Snoop, plus a look inside the entertaining guru’s home kitchen, pick up the latest copy of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.
“Everybody is dying for him to come here,” she says. “But he hasn’t come yet. Snoop, you’re invited.”