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I tried to use "main menu" for this but while it was added to "main menu" it doesn't display in dash in the similarly named sub category.

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To my best knowledge this is solely decided by the Category-key of the application's .desktop file (either located in /usr/share/applications/ or for local user applications in ~/.local/share/applications/).

E.g.:

$ cat /usr/share/applications/gedit.desktop | grep Categories
Categories=GNOME;GTK;Utility;TextEditor;

$ cat /usr/share/applications/gimp.desktop | grep Categories
Categories=Graphics;2DGraphics;RasterGraphics;GTK;
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